The business of creating machines is more or less a dream job for most of us. Right from penning down those curves on the drawing board, to the concept, to the finished product, the journey is marked by nothing less than passion, creativity and that god-like feeling of creation. The emotions are no different when creating a beast. I am sure Frankenstein got to know all about it when he created the monster/human, but then again that age was a different one.
In today's world, there are a whole bunch of things that can be done and virtual tests precede on-road tests, but that feeling remains and who better to talk about it than the people from Mean Metal Motors. The company is an automotive start-up which is aiming at making India's first supercar. Yes, you read that right, our very own
supercar. If the Polish, Germans and British can make it, why not us?
It's called the M-Zero and there are four teams from four countries working towards making this dream a reality. The teams in Portugal and Italy take care of body and styling, while the one in UK looks after all the simulations and analysis. The team in India is responsible for the engine, transmission, aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, electronics and energy storage systems. It's not as complex as it sounds, as just like all other car manufacturers, this too is more or less like a global product for Mean Metal Motors.
To begin with the chassis will be a carbon fibre monocoque tub and will be designed by the team, however will be given to various parts manufacturers to produce. Clearly it will be light weight and the monocoque will give the structure the rigidity it will require, for it has a lot of power to offer.
The M-Zero will be a parallel hybrid mid-engined supercar and according to the founder and director, Sarthak Paul, they're planning on getting a 4.0-litre AMG V8 bi-turbo or the 4.8-litre NA V10 but the process for procuring any one of these engines has not yet been started but the car is being built around this plan. Well of course we want to know, what power it's going to put out and Sarthak says that the target for them is 500+bhp.
But as we said, this is a parallel hybrid supercar and there will be an electric motor involved. The electric motor will be capable of producing approximately 250bhp which will give the M-Zero a combined power tally of 750+bhp while the total torque developed will be 900Nm. This means that it will have the power needed to go fast, very fast; but the car also needs to be given that supercar-like feel and there's a lot of thought going in that direction.
There are concepts which are being developed specifically to make the M-Zero more performance oriented. Let's start with the Crosshair which basically acts like a vertical stabilizer which not only adds to the stability of the car but also ticks the box when it comes to aerodynamics. Still at the research stage, Sarthak says that while cornering, when the yaw comes into play, the crosshair will reduce the oversteer in the M-Zero thus giving it a balanced ride. However, there are a lot of details to be ironed out and a whole bunch of simulations to be run before we see this working in real world conditions.
The M-Zero will also see the usage of Shape material alloys for better adaptability of shapes on the structure and this again helps in the aerodynamics department. Then there is the light weight suspension system where Mean Metal Motors will use Hydro-pneumatic struts. The hydro part changes the ground clearance while the pressure changes the stiffness of the ride. All-in-all, it's all about air pressure changing the stiffness of the suspension.
There is also a Turbulizer, which is actually a very interesting concept. The company says that the making of this component has been inspired by the fastest sea animal in the world. According to Sarthak, the turbulizer lowers the thickness of the boundary layer. Well, in short, it reduces aerodynamic drag. The size of the turbulizer will be in micrometers and can be manufactured by some surface finishing techniques.