It's the fastest sports car ever driven by sport auto at Hockenheim. And with a breathtaking track record of 1,03.7 minutes under its hood, just one question remains: Is this still a sports car, or already a purebred racer?
The identification codes for the Mosler Concept go from EXP/1 to EXP/4, so this particular mini-series will be no bigger than four units – units built “to set new performance standards for street-legal sports cars on the race tracks of the world”. The initiators of this mission, started in 2009, are CP autosport and Raeder Motorsport, both located in Büren, Germany. Development of the chassis and the rest of the mechanical components was overseen by Jürgen Kälberer, manager of CP's development department. Kälberer is a true insider, with illustrious posts as manager of construction at Sauber Petronas F1 and at HWA, as chief engineer at Prodrive and as senior designer at BAR Honda under his belt. Work on the body design, electronics and the engine was taken on by brothers Nicolas and Martin Raeder, the pair having earned highest accolades in the racing sports and high-performance scene. The project is based on the Mosler MT900, an ultra-light American racer with top ratings , so far unsurpassed, for side impact and roll-over tests, thanks to its carbon honeycombmonocoque body construction, tested in accordance with the FIA and US NCAP standards.
The 7-liter V8 is from a Corvette, while the six-speed manual transmission comes from the Porsche Turbo. At 610 hp, the Corvette engine upgraded by Raeder not only conforms with the Euro 5 standard, it's also capable of putting up with the highest demands in terms of performance and torque. In short, it goes like hell, without making a lot of fuss about it. At 1,204 kg with a full tank, there is a power-to-mass ratio of an incredible 1.97 kg per horsepower.
Yet the powertrain was not the developers' focus of attention; after all, the MT900 already fulfils the extremely high standards from the get-go. Instead, more attention was directed towards reducing weight and improving aerodynamic balance, especially regarding steering and suspension, including the springs and shock absorbing systems. As a result, a completely new chassis concept called ADMORAS was created. With the 'Adaptive Motion Ratio Suspension', springs and shock absorbers are activated by a reversing lever that has two different rotary axes, resulting in leverage automatically adjusting to the current driving situation - absorption remains soft on uneven road surfaces, while higher stiffness is provided during turns. This way, despite the consistently high quality of the suspension, rolling and pitching motions are also under much better control.
In a conventional chassis, the spring rate can be increased by a stabilizer bar when driving through turns. However, damping always remains the same, as the stabilizer has no impact on this. As a consequence, the possibility to control the car's movement is very limited in a traditional set-up. The Mosler Concept's rear suspension, on the other hand, works completely without a stabilizer bar. On top of an uncommonly comfortable spring travel, the system also delivers an incredible amount of grip because of the minimized body roll. It is the basis of an extremely effective aerodynamics package. As the distribution of power to the front and rear wheels very much depends on the ground clearance and the pitching and body roll angle, each bit of minimizing body movement leads to a more constant and predictable power transfer.
The results on the small circuit at Hockenheim are truly breathtaking. The aerodynamics package, further developed by Raeder, and strictly in accordance with current ECE guidelines and paired with a special horsepower package, create the impression that the god of aerodynamics himself has been watching over this project. Taking turns at high speed isn't for drivers with weak neck muscles, producing a force of up to 1.55 g. Retarding power just before the 'Ameisenkurve' turn is no less than 14.9 m/s2. Speed through the 'Querspange' section clocks in at 194 km/h. And this is supposed to be a street-legal sports car? Niki Raeder has no problems removing any such doubts: “When creating the aerodynamic components according to guidelines, there were no radii below 2.5 mm.” At the end of the day, the base vehicle is the Mosler MT900, a car certified for use both in the US and Germany. Sporting popular features such as amazing functionality, heating, air conditioning and electric windows – as well as a reasonable turning circle – it can take any corner with ease.
One has to salute the development team's performance, resulting in a 1,03.7 minute lap on the small circuit at Hockenheim with the Mosler Concept EXP/1 – a new speed record for one lap with street-legal sports tires, Dunlop's Sport Maxx Race. If you can't believe it – feel it.SPORT AUTO article (german)
28 Nov 2012