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University of Michigan Engineering Students Unveil ‘Muscle Hybrid’

April 2015: Engineering students from the University of Michigan have unveiled their new hybrid racing vehicle and it is packed with plenty of muscle in the form of a sleek aerodynamic layout, new electrical and control systems, and a refined mechanical design. The “muscle hybrid” vehicle will make its way to the race track at the Formula Hybrid competition taking place April 27-30, 2015, at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH.

The team, comprised of 50 undergraduate and graduate students, took first place in the Endurance / Dynamic event and 5th overall at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2014. With the improvements they have made to their 2015 vehicle, Harlan Dannenburg, 2014 MHyrbid Sponsorship Leader, is confident that they have taken their vehicle design to the next level and they are poised to do even better at this year’s competition.

The new vehicle, named “MHR15,” features a 250cc engine and two front-wheel motors that produce a combined 125HP for their ultralight, 650lb vehicle. From the “Tesla style” battery-pack with higher energy density, to all carbon fiber body, and much improved launch and regenerative braking systems, the MHR15 is impressive -- both visually and mechanically.

Additionally, the vehicle uses dSPACE for their computerized master controller of all the mechatronic systems (e.g. pedals, steering angle, gear selection, etc.).

“The MicroAutoBox II has allowed us to do things that no other system allows us to do,” said Ben Wang, Team Captain – MHybrid Race Team.

“Learning in the classroom is great, but working with professional tools like (dSPACE) ControlDesk lets me apply what I’m learning in a whole different way,” added Controls Lead Jennifer Uang.

The Formula Hybrid is part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series and is regarded as the most complex and dynamic of the series. Participation has narrowed down from 200 teams to 20. In this fourth season of the competition, each team must comply with extensive requirements as they build a completely original formula vehicle that can travel 75 meters in 10 seconds.

dSPACE is a proud sponsor of the MHybrid team and their accomplishments in this high-performance application.

“Especially for a student team with limited time, money, and experience, dSPACE has given us the opportunity and power to make our dreams come to life,” said Wang.

Drive Green, Go Blue.

Start a Team

If your school would like to form a team and compete in the next Formula Hybrid competition, click here for more information.