A student team at the Ohio State University has announced plans to develop a new version of its high-speed electric vehicle, Buckeye Bullet, that they hope will reach a top speed of 400 mph.
The students claim that the Version 3 will feature an optimized fin-shaped body, based on aerodynamic simulations undertaken at the Ohio Supercomputer Center. The strategic addition of wind deflectors and driver position will also be modified so that the vehicle goes faster than ever.
The previous model, built in 2004, was able to enter the record books at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, by setting the U.S. electric land speed record at just over 314 mph (over 500 kph). Now the team wants to beat their own record and to make the new car reach over 400 mph (643 kph).
“What sets the new design apart from the previous Buckeye Bullet vehicles is that at these higher speeds it is possible to produce shock waves under the vehicle. Such shock waves under the vehicle negatively affect the vehicle drag and can produce lift. Lift is undesirable in this application. Minimizing or eliminating these shock waves is critical to ensuring the safety and stability of the vehicle,” says the project’s chief engineer Cary Bork.
The development of the Buckeye Bullet 3 is possible due to the partnership with Venturi Automobiles and A123 Systems. Its construction is expected to be ready within the next year.