|Publication status||Published - 2009|
Bibliographical noteAuthor's note: Benninghoven Gmbh, a German based manufacturer of industrial equipment not familiar with the automotive industry wished to develop a high quality but low volume sports coupe for personal use, marketing and a celebration of the companies centenary the following year. After discussions it was agreed that to develop a new vehicle in under a year was unrealistic and therefore it would be best to base it on a known proven common platform, (Audi A5), with possibly a Cabriolet derivative at a later date.
The Design brief asked for a coupe evocative of 60/70s British & Italian sports cars but with a modern interpretation. The product is a luxury high performance, Grand Tourer capable of accommodating four adults over a long distance at high speed in comfort, typically from Koblenz to Nice.
The project was quite daunting considering in under a year a sketch had to be transformed into a running car, ready for limited production. Building on previous knowledge and a responsive and versatile supplier base the car was complete on time and driving around a test track at, Wittlich in Germany in September 2009.
There was total responsibility for a full exterior and interior design, produced a full-size clay, surface generation and the procurement of relevant suppliers and services to enable the project to be completed within a very tight time frame. Designed in the Art and Design studios, Running around a test track in 7 months from clay sign off.
Chris was responsible for all aspects of the programme from original design, supplier sourcing, component prototypes and project management.
The finished coupe is hand built with a steel body, kevlar front and rear panels, Complete and fully engineered in, 7 Months from clay sign off. 525 bhp supercharged, bespoke wheels, head and taillights. 8 built to date. Bodies manufactured in Nuneaton UK, Interior in Milton Keynes UK. Unique wheels machined from billet by, Rimstock of Bromsgrove UK. Final assembly in, Wittlich, Mosel, Germany.
Any project of this nature would have been difficult for a major OEM to achieve in the time-scale, therefore it is impressive this was achieved in a University environment.
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Rights holder: Chris Johnson