ELASIS

04.04.2006 The 'Alfa Diva', developed by Elasis and its partners, is a continuously evolving 'moving lab' where innovative solutions in the fields of technology, materials and control systems are tested

The prototype "Alfa Diva", which was publicly presented at the Geneva International Motor Show last month, was designed and realized by Fiat Auto's research and development arm Elasis, in collaboration with several technical partners, including ATR Group, Tubistyle and Momo, and also with the input of the design school Espera, run by Franco Sbarro.

This new prototype represents a 'moving laboratory' which is continuously evolving where new and innovative solutions in the fields of technology, materials and control systems are tested. It is a 'show car' that is also a genuine testbed for integrated computer aided and experimental tools which will be used to develop future cutting-edge, high-performance prototype sportscars. The Alfa Diva is thus a two seats sportcar which is embedded with excellent dynamic performance and with innovative contents. It's target is to overcome all the usual constraints concerning the architectural design and materials linked to normal development of a serial production car, but while keeping solidly in consideration Alfa Romeo's traditional development guidelines: sophisticated mechanicals, powerful engines, and a design that represents the real 'sportive' heart of the brand.

The engineers at Elasis placed great effort to obtain an ideal weight distribution, with the main masses concentrated between the front and rear axles. The design brief of the car in this respect was clear from the start, with promptness, manoeuvrability and typical driving precision characteristic of traditional compact Alfa Romeo's laid down as of foremost importance. Several different materials and construction techniques were used to define the chassis of the Diva. The rear-end is composed out of a steel tubular-frame, whilst the front and central chassis makes use of a sheet steel space-frame. ATR-Group supplied a carbon-fibre sub frame, which serves both structural and aerodynamic purposes. Advanced CAD-CAE technology was used to optimize the chassis design, similar to the technology used on the Sportiva Evoluta chassis project by Centro Ricerche Fiat.
 

ALFA ROMEO DIVA

The Alfa Diva prototype represents a 'moving laboratory' which is continuously evolving where new and innovative solutions in the fields of technology, materials and control systems are tested.

ALFA ROMEO DIVA

A Momo-developed steering wheel with optional steel, alloy or magnesium centres, and either polyurethane, high quality wood and leather or carbon-fibre.

ALFA ROMEO DIVA

The Elasis-created Alfa Diva prototype features a transversely mounted 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo engine which is fitted to a Selespeed gearbox.

ALFA ROMEO DIVA

The prototype "Alfa Diva", which was publicly presented at the Geneva International Motor Show last month, was designed and realized by Fiat Auto's research and development arm Elasis, in collaboration with several technical partners.

ALFA ROMEO DIVA

The lightweight, carbon-fibre chassis was produced by the ATR Group and it integrates the aerodynamic requirements of the project along with optimising dynamic behaviour as well as guaranteeing stiffness of the suspension points and of course a very low overall weight.


Topological shape and thickness optimization, was employed to maximize the stiffness to weight ratio, whilst remaining within pre-defined constraints. The lightweight, carbon-fibre chassis, which was produced by the ATR Group, integrates the aerodynamic requirements of the project along with optimising dynamic behaviour as well as guaranteeing stiffness of the suspension points and of course a very low overall weight. Constraints which were laid down for the Diva included using carbon-fibre and car body interfaces (suspension fastening points and steering system).

The objective of the project was also to achieve a 40 percent reduction in weight, close component integration and aerodynamic efficiency. The front and rear suspension feature double-wishbone architecture with majority aluminium components. It in particular features genuine sportscar 'push-rod' type spring damping. Dynamic controls including VDC, ABS and ARC are all present on this test-bed.

A transverse mounted 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo engine is fitted to a Selespeed gearbox. The carbon-fibre engine and gearbox mounting brackets, were proposed and designed by SRS Engineering & Design, and assure an elevated dynamic stiffness as well as a low weight.

The variable geometry exhaust system was built by Tubistyle out of Inconel 600, a nickel-based alloy that guarantees lightness and maximised performance. Noise levels are controlled by two special exhaust valves and a bypass pipe that interconnects the two inlet pipes. These new innovations allow the Diva's driver to enjoy all the evocative sounds normally associated with high-performance sportscars, but at low revs, the levels fall within required legal requirements. New microcasted exhaust flanges allow much thinner diameter pipes to be used, thus reducing weight further.

On board displays as well as data acquisition and processing is collated via hardware supplied by Digitek, who make race-proven systems. A Momo-developed steering wheel with optional steel, alloy or magnesium centres, and either polyurethane, high quality wood and leather or carbon-fibre, is fitted with a series of controls that enhance safety and allow greater ease of use.

Alfa Diva - Technical Specifications

Engine: Alfa Romeo 3.2 V6
Gearbox: 6M Selespeed
Max. Power: 290 bhp @ 6,200rpm
Dimensions: Length - 3894 mm; Width - 1896 mm; Height - 1182 mm; Wheelbase - 2402 mm; Track - 1608 mm (front), 1578 mm (rear).
Weight: 1,000 kg; front/rear split - 40/60 pct
Performance: Acceleration 0-100 km/h - 5.0 seconds; Max. Speed - 270 km/h
 

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Photos: Elasis / 2006 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed