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THE VOLTSWAGEN

With the Green Machine project dragging out with potential aerodynamic issues, and  receiving word that other guys were already successfully testing electric tether cars, we decided to step things up. George and I were reasonably sure that a closed wheel car with suspension, that was designed from the ground up as an electric powered car, was the ultimate answer. We also realized that we had very little solid information behind us to dive into such a program of extensive engineering, and costly manufacturing. Our thoughts were to take a 3.5cc gas car called the Ramrunner, put an electric motor in it, and use it to learn with.

For the Voltswagen, as we called it, we looked for a powerful motor that was not too big, and would fit the cast aluminum Ramrunner pan without any modifications. Such a motor was found at Offshore Electrics, a leading supplier to the RC boat enthusiasts. The motor we used is made by Leopard Motors, and costs about $100. Similarly, a small, not too expensive, 120amp ESC was used, and it fit perfectly. The batteries play an extremely important  role so a 65C Thunder Power pack was chosen.

George designed a custom, programmable, on-board throttle control to “ramp up” the power to the motor, just as you would with the throttle lever on your RC transmitter. The rate at which it does this can be changed by throwing switches on the printed circuit board. In tether racing, the use of external radio control is not permitted here in the United States.

After the Voltswagen showed really exciting results with the Leopard motor, it was changed over to test the motor/controller combination that we planned on using in the new car. At the end of the 2012 season, it posted 170mph lap speeds, and became the Worlds fastest electric powered tether car.

Voltswagen Specifications

Motor #1
Motor #2
Controller #1
Controller #2
Batteries  
Throttle control  
Chassis
Body top
Machined parts
Gears
Dimensions
Weight
Leopard 4074
Neu 1500 series
Turnigy DLUX 120amp
Castle ICE 200amp
Thunder Power 6S 2700MaH
On-board, custom built
Cast aluminum, machined
Vacuum molded Kevlar
7075 & 2024 aluminum, and steel
HPI steel bevel – 3.2:1 ratio
21” L x 4.5” W x 4.5” H
6+ lbs

 
Assembly Photos - Leopard Motor



 Vacuum Molded Kevlar Body

 

 


 Voltswagen at 2012 AMRCA Nationals in California

For the 2014 season and beyond, we are currently working with the AMRCA to establish an official set of classes, and rules for electric tether cars. The Voltswagen will continue to be run as an exhibition car until the new rules are in place.

Our future plans are to manufacture a small quantity of the cars with the original Leopard motor, and related running gear, and offer them for sale. With this setup the Voltswagen can be expected to reach speeds of 150+ mph. The pricing, and timing of their availability will be announced later in the 2014 season