Design and manufacturing of a single-seated car for the Formula SAE competition

G. Meneghetti, G. Ballotta, D. Moretto

University of Padova

S. Giacometti

OZ Racing


The Formula SAE is an international automotive competition for university students, who are engaged to conceive, design, manufacture and drive on the racetrack a single-seated formula style race car. To determine the winner, a jury of experts coming from the automotive and supplier industries judge every design, cost planning and business plan in comparison to the other competing teams; furthermore, the students drive their self-built car on the racetrack in a number of so-called dynamic disciplines. What the competition aims at, is to educate students to succeed in a project where the winning team is not simply the one having the fastest car, but the one offering the best overall package of design, dynamic performances and cost management of the car. The University of Padova has entered its 9th year in the formula SAE competition. The current single-seated car has a 25CrMo4 welded steel space frame while the bodywork is completely made of carbon fibre composite. The suspension system consists of double steel A-arms with pull-rod actuated longitudinal spring/damper and aluminium uprights. The brake system consists of four 220-mm-diameter floating disks with Brembo calipers. Wheels are OZ Racing 13” made of magnesium alloy. The engine is a modified four-cylinder Honda CBR 600 RR assisted by a Motec M400 electronic unit. The drive train comprises a Drexler limited slip differential, carried by aluminium alloy supports, and titanium half shafts. Driving is assisted by traction control, launch control and an electro-actuated gear shift.