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For my EPQ I have decided to research why race cars today have become
more efficient. I find this topic that I have chosen interesting as I have
always had an interest in cars all my life and I would like to delve into the
history of race cars as they seemed to have changed a lot over the last century
from the brief information I know. Today’s race cars are a lot different from
the race cars from the past. The aim for every race car since the first one
which was Charles Duryea’s Motorized Wagon to one of the most recent race cars
that is the LaFerrari FXX K, is that they make the car as fast as they possibly
can; So overall most race cars are the same as the car maker uses the best
technology to create the fastest car possible. However linking back to the Charles
Duryea’s Motorized Wagon (As pictured on the right) they also had to think
about how to stop the car from breaking down. 1
By the end of my research I desire to achieve the reasoning of why race cars
have become so more adequate in recent history and explore the history of race
cars that I would never think I would have ever have knowledge about. For my
primary research I am going to email Ferrari and ask about their latest race
car and find out what they have chosen to endeavour to make a more efficient
race car and then for my secondary research I am going to use reviews and news
articles to get a brief knowledge from someone’s perspective. At the end of my
research I look forward to discover how cars have become more efficient.

 

Engine

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The
1890’s racecars didn’t have the most power in a racecar as the engine was a
whopping 1 cylinder and it had a maximum of 4 horse power, whereas the Ferrari
FXX K has a petrol engine and electric engine. The electric engine puts out 187
horsepower and the petrol 1,036 horse power which is evidentially a lot more
than Charles Duryea’s Motorized Wagon.
Car engines are created around cylinders and it can be anything from two
cylinders to eight cylinders; in the cylinders is where fuel burns. Cylinders
are mainly made out of cast aluminium or iron which is very strong and act as
football pumps, there are perfectly fitted pistons that continuously work by
sliding up and down inside of the pistons. In conclusion to this research about
race cars engines, they have changed to be more efficient as now they have
direct injection technology which means more of the fuel is burnt more
efficiently.

Luxury

Your
average race car from the 1890’s would have a stretched leather seat for two
people, but you won’t find the new fancy gadgets or soft race car suspension,
or the noise and vibration from the car and the road. Race cars mainly use these
primary materials to make up the cockpit of the car; aluminium, titanium, carbon fibre, and leather. Most car
bodies were made out of steel as it is strong and very easy to work with and
also cheap. Steel can be used for parts of the car like the chassis, wheels,
exhaust, engine and roof; if anything of the car broke it was easy to repair
and replace as it is cheap. However, aluminium is also a popular material for
cars as it is stronger and lighter than its ferrous friend, steel. Aluminium
also doesn’t rust but it is a lot more expensive than steel so it is not used
on cheap cars. As more car manufactures used aluminium it became very popular
with race cars but carbon fibre came into the race car world which is mainly
used for race cars.

Gearbox

A manual
gear box was originally the only choice for a cars transmission, then the world
was introduced to automatic gearbox and it got exceedingly popular with car
manufacturers.

Also in
1989, Ferrari put a paddle shifted semi- automatic gearbox in its formula one
car. Now most of the race cars nowadays have paddle shifted gear boxes so
drivers can get the maximum potential out of their race car.

 

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