The design for the Velopetta prototype has progressed quickly during the past few months.
The chassis design is based almost exclusively on rectangular aluminium section, with minimum number of joins for strength and simplicity. Once the prototype is complete and testing starts, parts will need to be redesigned and replaced as they fail or are improved. The focus of the first phase will be functionality, strength and safety, and the second phase will be weight reduction and finish.
We’ve been working with a highly experienced local composites company, fibreglass developments, who will create the moulds and the carbon fibre body shells. They are helping ensure the body shape can be easily pulled from moulds with no undercuts that will prevent the part from releasing.
The body will be moulded in two halves, with each half requiring a two-piece mould (also called a multi-part or split-mould). The two halves will be joined with a ‘racing strip’ of formed laminated timber. More timber parts will be used as framing to reinforce areas of the body, such as around the sill and door opening, both for strength and look.
The biggest piece of design work remaining, that is actually causing a few headaches, is the soft-top design. It’s proving difficult to get a design that both looks good and provides enough clearance for tall drivers!
Here are some more images of the current design. Note that this is a work in progress and may still change before construction, but is pretty close to final.