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Designer Envisions MG Roborace Vehicle for Year 2025, Will It Happen?
There’s no doubt that an autonomous future is coming. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s already here. Roborace is one of the projects aimed at taking autonomous vehicles to the next level.

Designer Envisions MG Roborace Vehicle for Year 2025, Will It Happen?

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Ladies and gentlemen, the design you see here is not an official entry in the next Roborace circuit but rather an official entry into the SAIC Design Challenge. This entry from 2016 belongs to a designer known on social media only as denni5. His MG Robo-01, as it’s been dubbed, is an exploration in visual presentation, functionality, and above all, speed.

The designer states that for the 01, inspiration was drawn from an existing MG design, the EX-181. Ever heard of the EX-181? Well, it’s a mid-engine vehicle from 1957 that broke the then-current Bonneville Salt Flats record by around 20%, with a speed of 245.64 mph (395.32 kph) and Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel.

The overall design of the 01 is similar to just about any other Roborace vehicle out there, with a wide and low body which is pinched in the middle, much like an hourglass. A dropped front end allows the vehicle to scoop air over the body easily. At higher speeds, this sort of design allows it to stick to the road better. The lifted wings over the rear wheels act as spoilers, helping offer more stability.

Stability is something the 01 needs as it also includes a slightly different thrust system compared to classic race cars—a jet thruster. At the rear of the ride, a thruster meant to provide an even higher speed is seen. But why?

Well, one thing to note about this design is that it isn’t just autonomous. Sure, Roborace is all about pushing the technological limits of autonomous design and control, but for the 01, denni5 also includes the option to control the vehicle via RC.

To make the whole racing experience even more exciting, the thrusters are supposed to bring an even greater challenge as higher speeds mean a driver’s reaction times must be even sharper. I wonder if the designer thought of starting a betting ring with this design.

Another feature in the works for this vehicle is that of modularity. In case of an accident, or any component requiring replacing, the 01 can be easily broken down and refit. The designer remains silent about how this is carried out, though.

So, you’re racing along, and everything is going smoothly. But before you know it, the 01 requires a refuel. Well, to reduce downtime, this vehicle can be refueled on the go. To do so, a drone will attach itself and deliver fuel or electrical power back into the 01. Sure, it may seem like a stretch, but technology like this is already used by the military, albeit more so on aircraft rather than terrestrial vehicles. Then again, who knows what the military is really doing?

If you look closely at the wheels of the 01, you’ll notice what may look like panels on the exterior. These panels are air spoilers that modify the shape of the car’s body during a turn. At high speed, air friction can easily be used to manipulate maneuvers; such is the case here.

Now, the design looks cool, it’s got lots of technological ideas in place, but there’s one big booboo: 2025 is only three and a half years away. What are the chances that Roborace vehicles will be adapting such ideas by then?

 
 
 
 
 

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