According to Omar Alfarra Zendah, Tesla will win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2030. He’s not a psychic, or a Nostradamus enthusiast – just a really biased concept designer. He, along with four other students at the Institute of European Design Barcelona, came up with the T1 vision – which is an outside-of-the-norm take on an electric race car concept.
The vehicle looks into future technologies largely unavailable today, and the design focuses around how wind can be best utilised in order for the T1 to earn energy and increased acceleration.
Originally conceived for the Michelin Design Challenge, it uses free-standing wheels with in-wheel turbines to pull the air through ducts and into a large rear turbine – creating bumper power in the process.
As a whole, the T1 team speculates their baby will produce 1,000kW of power in a car that weighs only 900 kg. From that power-to-weight ratio the students can then estimate the racer could reach 410 km/h. To help harness all that power, (naturally) grippy Michelin tyres on both the front and rear axles turn independently, causing the wheelbase to shorten and make the car more agile than a double-jointed ballerina.
A 70 kilowatt battery would store the energy and start the car before the wind power kicks in. Each turbine is 3D printed from aerogel, enclosed within high tensile magnesium wheels and graphene tyres.
When it comes to concepts, you wouldn’t expect anything less from Elon Musk and his legion of followers. They took their vision of wind power and took it further than a baked bean eating contest ever would.
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