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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Supercar dream to become reality

Tony Parker has a dream. He has been working on it since he was five years old. His dream is to design and build a supercar in New Zealand.

An Associate Professor in Industrial Design in the College of Design, Fine Arts and Music, Mr Parker is chief designer in a consortium which this month unveiled plans for the supercar.

“New Zealand has established a reputation for building the best yachts in the world. I believe we also have the technical capability and industrial infrastructure to create a quality, hand-built performance car,” he says.

Named the Hulme F1, the car draws on the racing legacy of New Zealander Denis Hulme, who won the Formula One World Driver’s Championship in 1967. “We want to create a brand based on the glamorous world of F1 racing and the reputation New Zealanders have earned for building quality products,” says Mr Parker.

He describes his role as conceptualiser and designer. He sketched up a series of supercar designs before settling on the F1 look, complete with air box, sidepods and open wheels. “We are creating the illusion that you are driving a F1 car on the road.”

Mr Parker’s next task will be what he calls human factors. “This means fitting the car to the driver and passenger – designing the seats, controls and interior.” No easy task when the car sits just 1050 mm above the ground. (In comparison, a Toyota Corolla is 1500 mm high.)

Albany-based technician Peter Skerton also has his hands all over the supercar. His task has been to build a quarter-scale model from Parker’s drawings.

“First I make an armature from polystyrene. Then I heat some clay to 60 degrees and slap it on the armature. Using clay-modelling tools, I sculpt the shape according to Tony’s designs.”

Mr Skerton says that even in the age of CADCAM and high-tech engineering machinery, clay is still used to model car designs. “It’s a great material to work with. You can work quickly, and it’s easy to tweak as the design is adjusted.”

The Hulme F1 has been planned amid tight security over the past two years. A prototype is expected to be running as early as June this year. Many of the technical details remain secret as they are commercially sensitive. But managers of the project say they have an agreement with a major manufacturer to use a high performance engine.

“Forty years ago New Zealand was a driving force in international motor racing,” says Supercars New Zealand Limited spokesman Jock Freemantle. “We had three New Zealanders, Bruce McLaren, Denis Hulme and Chris Amon in top F1 teams, and the McLarens were dominating American CanAm sports car racing.

“Much of the automotive engineering talent and knowledge was exported and lost to New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s. We want to restore New Zealand to its rightful place in the automotive world,” says Mr Fremantle.

Mr Parker says that is part of the reason he is so keen on the project. Like Peter Jackson, he wants to keep New Zealand talent at home. The plan is that a percentage of profits from the supercar venture will fund research opportunities for Massey design graduates.

Supercars New Zealand Limited plans to build two cars this year, 10 to 20 cars in 2005 and after that 35-50 cars. A minimum of 150 cars will be built in total.

And how will the Hulme F1 perform? Like a rocket. With a mass of around 1200kg and an engine supplying 400 kilowatts, a top speed of over 300 km/h is expected.

Source: Massey News
Pics below. I don't know what to say :ninja. It looks like a cross between the Ford Indigo concept car from the 90's and the Ferrari Enzo. I don't know the full specs but is powered by a 450hp BMW v8.



Video of the launch
http://tvnz.co.nz/cda/tvnz/video_popup_windows_skin/481224?bandwidth=128k
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
njn63 said:
looks kinda like an enzo meets a murcialago. I like it... i think :confused
I was thinking Enzo meets this


Probably because of the open wheel look.

I too can't figure out if i like it or hate it. Whether it looks good or downright fugly. Can't make my mind up:D.
 
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