The FIA WTCC is similar to Formula One, but for real world cars that have to be produced in at least 25,000 units a year. To safeguard competition among manufacturers and restrict development costs, regulations of what components may be changed and to what extent are stricter than in any other FIA competition. Form and thickness of the shell, for instance, have to be identical to the commercial car, though it is permitted to improve aerodynamics. The components of a suspension may be substituted by similar parts of different materials, but the structural concept has to be the same. The new 280 hp 2000cc turbo diesel engine, must be taken from serial production, but moving parts such as crankshafts, flywheels, pistons, etc., may be fine-tuned to enhance performance and reliability.
“Adapting an existing production car to the WTCC specifications within only a few months requires close collaboration between engine, transmission, body and chassis specialists. It is quite similar to the normal development process in the automotive industry, but under the constraints of time pressure and limited resources”, said Benoit Bagur, chief engineer of SEAT Sport. “We can not afford to have specialists and specialized tools for every task. And, we need tools that are easy to use, so that we can get our team up to speed in no more than a week of training. For this reason, we decided to use the PTC software for all our work rather than the toolset used for commercial production for this specific model.”
Engineers at SEAT Sport relied heavily on Pro/ENGINEER to redesign the engine and suspension, to create the tubular structure that reinforces the cockpit and to model the complex free form surfaces of wings and body components destined to enhance the aerodynamics. All critical components were simulated under worst case conditions, using the closely integrated thermal and structural analysis tools. The unique capabilities in the Pro/ENGINEER Behavioral Modeling Extension (BMX) allowed them to optimize the geometry of some parts under physical constraints such as weight and mass inertia in a matter of minutes. “PTC’s Product Development System has strongly contributed to shorten our design iterations and to get things right the first time. It allowed us to bring a competitive car to the circuit in only five months”, said Jaime Puig, managing director of SEAT Sport.
“We congratulate WTCC champion Yvan Muller, his driver colleagues in the WTCC team and the whole SEAT Sport organization on this double victory which reflects the improvements achieved over last year when they were placed second in the Driver’s and Manufacturer’s competitions. These improvements would have been impossible without the dedication of the many engineers who made the Leon-based WTCC car even more competitive,” said Marc Diouane, senior divisional vice president PTC Europe. “SEAT Sport’s ongoing commitment to use the PDS for development and optimization of their WTCC car is just another example of how valuable the use of the PTC technology is to leading automotive companies around the world, struggling to manage the growing complexity and speed of product development.”
From Formula One to NASCAR to America's Cup sailing, the world's best performance teams partner with PTC to support their advanced and demanding design, development and manufacturing projects. PTC is extremely successful in the various international Touring Championships which require fast adaptation of the production cars to the racing requirements. Recently Audi Sport won the international DTM championship in an Audi 4 DTM car developed and optimized with PTC technology.
About SEAT Sport
SEAT Sport, the motor sport division of Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, is based in Matorell near Barcelona. Founded in 1970 and reinitiated in 1985 after a five year break, it actually employs some 130 people with more than half of them working in R&D. SEAT started its activity in racing competition more than 30 years ago and has won many trophies and titles. This includes three consecutive titles at the World Rally Championships (WRC) in the 2-litre category, achieved with the Ibiza Kit Car. Since 2005, SEAT Sport participates in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) which succeeded the ETCC and consists of eleven races in eleven countries on three continents. In 2008 the SEAT motor sport division has won the first place in the WTCC Manufacturer’s competition and the first and second place in the Driver’s ranking with Yvan Muller (first position) and Gabrielle Tarquini (second position). SEAT Sport has also achieved 12 victories, 1 hat trick and 5 doubles.
About PTC Solutions for the Automotive Industry
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