Multibody simulation enables engineers to develop more competitive motorsports
vehicles by fine-tuning suspension designs for better handling and maneuverability
Leuven, Belgium - April 9, 2008 - LMS, the engineering innovation company, announced
today that Italian race car manufacturer Picchio S.p.A. selected LMS Virtual.Lab
Motion in designing suspensions for its motorsports vehicles, including
closed-cockpit Grand-Am and Daytona class vehicles. In a move to expand its
business, Picchio is also using the software in developing custom-built
high-performance sports cars for road driving.
Founded in 1989 by race car engineering legend Giotto Bizzarrini, Picchio developed
a number of prototype vehicles and in 1998 raced the first vehicle entirely designed
and built by the company. Since that debut, Picchio vehicles have performed well and
placed highly in prestigious races such as the Italian Hill Climb Championship and
24 Hours at Daytona.
Now that Picchio has established itself as a viable racing contender, the challenge
is to improve the competitiveness of its cars - increasing vehicle speed by
optimizing suspension systems, for example, to provide for better on-track handling
and maneuverability. The challenge also is to develop suspensions for its
forthcoming GT sports cars intended to provide the excitement and responsive feel of
a race car with the safety of a road vehicle.
"Our ability to develop finely-tuned suspensions reached a limit by relying solely
on physical prototype testing," explains Picchio Senior Designer Christian Stronati.
"We needed a way to zero in on the best design without building and testing so many
hardware prototypes. The logical step for us is using multibody simulation to
predict suspension performance. This enables us to go through numerous iterations
and still meet critical windows of opportunity."
After an exhaustive comparison, Picchio implemented LMS Virtual.Lab Motion for
simulating full-vehicle ride and handling behavior. The software has a special
interface for building front and rear-axle suspension models, including flexible
parts such as springs, bushing and dampers. "LMS Virtual.Lab Motion has all the
capabilities we need in an integrated package with an intuitive, graphical interface
that is easy to use - an important issue considering our engineering team had no
previous experience whatsoever with multibody simulation," explains Stronati. He
also notes the convenience of importing suspension geometry directly into the LMS
software from Picchio's Pro/Engineer CAD system.
"LMS Virtual.Lab Motion allows us to drive vehicle models around a virtual test
track to see how cars handle, while we look at the detailed models of the
suspension, plots of loads, accelerations and various other parameters. With this,
we can fine-tune the behavior of the suspension by studying the effect of modifying
critical parts such as the shock absorbers. In this respect, the LMS software lets
us best leverage the tremendous engineering experience at Picchio in developing
innovative racing vehicles and exciting sports cars," concluded Stronati.
For more information about LMS Virtual.Lab, visit
LMS is an engineering innovation partner for companies in the automotive, aerospace
and other advanced manufacturing industries. LMS enables its customers to get better
products to market faster, and turn superior process efficiency to their strategic
competitive advantage. LMS delivers a unique combination of virtual simulation
software, testing systems, and engineering services. We are focused on the mission
critical performance attributes in key manufacturing industries, including
structural integrity, handling, safety, reliability, comfort and sound quality.
Through our technology, people and over 25 years of experience, LMS has become the
partner of choice for most of the leading discrete manufacturing companies
worldwide. LMS, a Dassault Systèmes Gold Partner, is certified to ISO9001:2000
quality standards and operates through a network of subsidiaries and representatives
in key locations around the world. For more information on LMS, visit
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