Car in bits again...
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Re: Sprint 6C build up
Point taken 302. Sorry if it came across that way.
I also take your points on board GTcoop, but you should note that I have only used the bodyshell of a Nova kitcar, everything else was designed from the ground up by myself. Naturally I have had a lot of help and advice from professional vehicle engineers, but I have had full control of the parameters determining vehicle behaviour (calculating roll centres, change on CofG, spring rates, camber/castor etc.). Even if I hadn't, I would not be in comfortable position that modern kitcar builders are, as the Nova was designed to use an unmodified VW Beetle chassis, which handled extremely badly to start with and doesn't improve under a Nova. A succession of manufacturers over the years have failed to do any kind of development on the car (which had the engine at the very back, and the fuel tank moved from its original nose mount to a location behind the seats. Safe in a shunt, but unfortunately not so good when the aircooled VW engine caught fire, which it did regularly!)
Fuel tank placement on any car is a packaging problem. For a mid engine car there are even fewer locations that can be used, as the engine falls within the area normally used for passenger space. The FIAT X-1/9 puts the tank vertically between the seats and the engine. This was done mainly to increase the storage area in the front compartment (the spare wheel also went behind the seats) rather than maintain the dynamic balance. In fact, X-1/9s handle better with the spare wheel in the nose, I have heard.
The VW-Porsche 914 put its tank in the nose. Lambos and Fezzas (also the Stratos) have variously placed dual tanks either side of the engine compartment behind the doors. Handy if you can get enough protection around the sides, but clearly a side-impact problem, particularly in a small vehicle like the 6C.
So you are left with little choice but front or rear placement of the tank. With the Sprint engine subframe underneath and a suitable cage above, I don't see why this location can't be used. Mid-engined cars are not commonplace on our roads, and it may seem funny to todays FWD drivers, but not so long ago even RWD cars had fuel tanks slung out behind them to avoid the voluminous back axle and driveshafts, and for every car suffering a frontal impact there is (presumably) another car having a rear end shunt!
I agree that driving on our roads may be like playing Russian Roulette, but the one thing I have discovered is that car manufacturers do not necessarily design safe, dynamically stable cars, particularly when that conflicts with profit, and you would be very surprised how good a car that you have designed yourself can be (I was). All vehicles are a compromise in terms of handling, safety, passenger comfort and price, but the latter requirements have come to dominate over the last few years, and I think it shows.
I'm sorry, I'm just rambling now. This is a discussion forum and I was trying to be constructive, but some of the comments touched a nerve that's all. I shouldn't get so het up about such things - please, just ignore me in future!