Lyonheart

Advanced vehicle engineering for an exclusive, limited edition Jaguar-based sports car

Client: LYONHEART CARS LTD  – www.lyonheart.com

The task
Lyonheart has commissioned Envisage Group to carry out the complete vehicle engineering of Lyonheart ‘K’ – a Jaguar XKR-based spiritual successor to the Jaguar E-Type. The Lyonheart ‘K’ is an exclusive, limited edition motor car.

Insight
This commission provides us with an exciting and challenging opportunity to engineer a new vehicle, using a combination of visual renderings,Concept models and established donor vehicle architecture.

Lyonheart required the car’s initial styling theme to be overlaid on to the donor XKR underbody and chassis and for a full feasibility study to be carried out. From the outset, we had to confirm that the styling aspiration met the requirements dictated by legislation, occupant packaging, aerodynamic requirements and carry-over components (e.g. convertible roof, windscreen wipers, drop glass and electrical / human interface system).

Process
To begin with we followed our standard process of focusing on the high cost elements and those with a long development lead time. The carry-over items had to be identified and we worked closely with the stylist to allow the design aspiration to meet the system functional and packaging requirement. Supported by Jaguar Land Rover, who provided the base vehicle CAD data, we were able to confirm the styling aspiration matched the actual geometry.

We proposed changes to occupant position, mirror location, windscreen surface and interfacing sealing for the convertible roof. All of which were successfully merged back into the design, with little compromise to the overall character. Reaching this stage gave the team confidence to move forwards to detail design – the next phase of the project.

Keeping the character of the original concept was top priority and considerable effort was made to keep the proportions faithful. Nevertheless, we had to make certain compromises, for example a new fuel tank concept design was required to support the new driver position to best fit the interior package.

An advanced CFD study was also carried out to refine the surface condition to give a similar lift and drag coefficient performance as the donor vehicle. We had to alter the driving position to achieve a more ‘cab-rear’ stance. This then had to be confirmed with the required legal visibility, mirror, head form clearance checks.

We produced an initial gap and flush document to identify the best in class craftsmanship appropriate for a vehicle of this type and referenced similar vehicles as examples. This document was also used to inform the detail design treatment of the surfaces, both internal and external.

Current position
Plans are in place for local visual models and for a full scale physical seating buck that can progress to be a customer-facing tool for personalisation of the driving position if required.

We are working to ensure that the donor vehicle’s electrical architecture is compatible for modification in order to present a seamless customer-facing ‘Lyonheart’ experience.

The repositioned and revised digital data has been reviewed with the client and has been successfully incorporated into his design.

The detail engineering task is underway. We are now focusing on the body structure design to establish to base a base platform for both coupe and convertible variants which will then be designed concurrently. The current completion date for the first vehicle is Q4 2013. The Lyonheart ‘K’ story is to be continued…