What is it?
Spartan V8 is a type of high performance car called an "exoskeleton" car, exoskeleton
referring to the framework of the car which is both visible and
aesthetic by design. It is being designed entirely from scratch, by me
alone (constructed and tested entirely in SolidWorks). I'm about a year
into the design; from initial idea, to working concept, to full 3d
virtual model. Once I have the remainder of the crucial components
(engine, transmission, suspension, etc) modeled accurately in
SolidWorks, I'll be able to finalize the design and begin construction.
What would it be like to drive?
A: Something like this.
metallic click of a switch engages the ignition and fuel pump with a
hum. You engage the clutch and push the starter button.. the V8 engine
thrashes and bursts to life with a snarl, sending shivers through the
frame, and straight up your spine. The shifter in your right hand snicks
into gear, and you ease out the clutch and apply the throttle.. by the
time you fully release the clutch, its already time to shift into
second. As you shift to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, the sheer acceleration
nails you to your seat, the exhaust roars to either side of you, the
intake growls in front of you, the big 305 series tires shriek in
protest as they claw at the pavement, the wind whips past your head and
body, and you are catapulted to speed more rapidly than you thought
A stab at the brakes invites the race compound pads to
bite into four oversized vented rotors, rapidly bringing you to a
screeching halt.. brutally throwing you forward against your 5 point
harness, threatening to eject you from the cockpit as you slow back to a
stop. Your pulse is racing, your breathing is quickened, and the back
of your neck is tingling. Savage and raw, the Spartan V8 isn't just
quick. It is downright terrifying.
More akin to riding something
wild, overpowered, and foaming at the mouth than just driving a car. It
roars, it screams, it snarls. It thrums with power lurking just under
its thin skin, daring you to mash that accelerator to the floor, and
chase down something exotic..
design and build your own car?
A: Why not? It will be
fun to design, build, and drive. It will be a learning experience like
no other. Also, because of it's tremendous power to weight ratio, the
Spartan will be a veritable supercar - more than able to hold its own on
the road or racetrack against other street cars costing hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
Why does it have power steering if it's so light?
A: Mostly personal preference. Keeping the power steering makes it much more drivable at slow speeds, without being tedious. Oversteer and powerslide corrections are easier to make with power steering. Also, a manual rack would be a higher ratio - more turns lock to lock, which isn't much fun in the curves.
Is it another Ariel Atom clone?
A: No, not in the least. While both cars feature cutting edge exoskeleton styling, the similarities end there. The Spartan is front engine/rear drive, with a longitudinal layout. The Atom is rear engine/rear drive, with a transverse layout. The frame and design is literally from scratch, and does not share any components with the Atom.
How fast will it be?
A: Pretty quick, see the "Specs" page for the latest estimations.
How much will it cost?
A: The car is only in the prototype stage at this point, but after the first prototype has been fully tested, evaluated, and any issues remedied, I'll build the first production car - chassis no. 001, which will be offered for sale at a reasonable price.
Is it street legal?
It doesn't have a roof or doors? What if it rains/snows/sleets/hails/etc?
A: In short, you get wet. But don't worry too much, the same weather rules apply as riding a motorcycle. A helmet is recommended, so light rain will not be an issue. Heavy rain might force you to stop and take refuge. Snow or otherwise likely won't ever be an issue as you'd probably freeze to death - this is a warm weather car!
Can I buy one?
A: Not yet, but soon. Following build completion and performance/reliability trials, kits or complete cars will be available.