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Axon, Westfield and AIE win award to develop new sportscar variant

Tomorrow’s low CO2 emission cars can be fun as well as frugal. While there have been lots of attempts to make fuel efficient cars for the future all too often these have been rather too worthy and rather too little fun. Westfield Sports Cars is determined to address this challenge by building on its own heritage of high excitement cars together with new technology from Axon Automotive and AIE.

The three companies have come together to show what can be done to build a lightweight sports car based around technology that will meet the low CO2  challenges. This team will produce a Westfield car with an advanced carbon fibre structure and an incredibly light rotary engine. This vehicle will then be tested extensively round a test track and validated on the road by a professional driver.

This new platform is expected to deliver the same levels of value for money that has long made Westfield Sportscars a firm favourite with real world enthusiasts.

Press release on Pistonheads


New Westfield chassis

Axontex frame wins top European prize with Hyundai

February 2015

Axon Automotive are winners of the 2015 Jury Prize at the European Composites show JEC Paris. Hyundai have led the project with Korean manufacturers Hyosung and Lotte Chemicals collaborating with Axon to produce the Intrado crossover vehicle which is hydrogen powered. First seen at the Geneval motorshow in 2014 the Intrado’s all carbon fibre frame is the subject of the JEC prize. Axon’s Founder, Dr Steven Cousins says, “The combination of state of the art hydrogen powertrain and superlight all carbon fibre body structure make this vehicle a strong candidate for the world’s most advanced green car”.

The Intrado is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain with a potent 36-kWh lithium-ion battery. Total range is roughly 370 miles on a single fill-up, from Hyundai’s advanced fuel cell system.

Hyundai claim that the new manufacturing and joining processes for the Intrado's lightweight carbon-fiber structure has "the potential to change the way cars are made." The automaker goes on to say that the Intrado's strong bones could accommodate body panels made from "any material," giving designers much more flexibility. Hyundai claim the Intrado has responsive and agile driving dynamics, thanks to its low weight and efficient powertrain.

Axon Automotive is proud to have worked with Hyundai's European Technical Centre to create the Axontex based all carbon fibre vehicle frame that has helped this vehicle become such a trail blazer.

Axon frame for Hyundai Intrado  

Motorsport valley initiative puts Axon Automotive on the motorbike track

January 2014

Axon Automotive is one of 15 companies located in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties will receive a total of £1.14m from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to carry out 11 research and development projects as part of the Motorsport Valley Launchpad competition. Designed to enable companies within the motorsport cluster to collaborate and develop new energy-efficient technologies, the funding will facilitate and accelerate the economic growth of the winning companies and of the cluster as a whole.

The new investment that Axon receives will enable it to apply its carbon fibre structural technology to motorbikes and scooters making them lighter and more fuel efficient both for racing and in future products.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, said: "The UK is literally leading the global race in the motorsport industry, hosting some of the most innovative companies in the world. The Motorsport Valley business cluster is generating a range of exciting products that are revolutionising the sector as well as supporting growth and helping to create jobs. Through our industrial strategy, competitions such as Launchpad will allow businesses to take their technologies to the next level and keep them on top of the podium for years to come."

Axon Automotive wins contract to simulate bus rollover crash

December 2013

It has been announced that ultra lightweight vehicle manufacturer, Axon Automotive, has been awarded a contract to simulate rollover crash of vehicles.

This modelling will be undertaken by staff who are some of the few certified people able to carry out this work. The work is being undertaken for Nu-track in Antrim, Northern Ireland to assist them in achieving vehicle certification approval for their new mid-sized 33 seater vehicle.

The need for this type of work has arisen because of the ECE Regulation 66 (R66) which is concerned with Rollover Safety of Passenger Service Vehicles (PSV’s). It requires the vehicle structure to provide a strong safety zone within the passenger compartment for passenger protection during potential rollovers. All coach vehicles sold within EU member states (and some non-EU countries) are required to comply with the R66 regulation.

Although primarily known for their expertise in composite structured vehicles and components, Axon’s knowledge of safety design and modelling for composites is sought across the automotive industry including the bus and coach sector. This includes the capability for Type-Approval for coach rollover because any R66 rollover work has to be approved by the Department for Transport. The Axon approach is to use non-linear modelling with discrete joint and section tests to achieve the required performance, which is fully integrated within the overall vehicle design. This method avoids the need for costly full sized impact testing of the vehicle.

Lyndon Sanders, director at Axon Automotive, said “We are very excited to be doing this work for Nu-track because it underlines the importance of modelling structures for how they perform in accidents across a wide range of vehicles and it is especially good to be involved with a successful British vehicle manufacturer.”




Leading Crashworthiness Team Join Axon Automotive

October 2013

Dr Ras Hashemi and Dr Andrew Walton, two of the UK's most experienced vehicle crash analysts, are to take part in a project on data preparation for a range of crash software simulations.

They will work on a range of projects to improve the automotive industry's use of carbon fibre composite crash structures. They have joined Axon Automotive from Cranfield University to pursue this particular project which is a Composites Innovation Cluster project coordinated by Altair.

Dr Kevin Lindsey, Axon Director, commented "this specialist team will enable Axon to provide crash structure design and manufacture for the world's leading car companies".


Automotive composites - in touch with lighter and more flexible solutions

April 2013

According to the UK's Automotive Council weight targets for 2030 are unlikely to be met in some vehicle types even if the body chassis and shell are made of air. Thermoset and thermoplastic composites are two groups of materials from which light enough components can be made to meet the seemingly ambitious targets. We consider the commercial opportunities and some of the technical challenges that are emerging in the automotive composites market.

Carbon fibre

Increased competition from corporate changes and faster curing cycles are likely to encourage more automotive designers to use reinforced polymers. Parts integration has being going on for many years. As Axon Automotive has been demonstrating, a lot more could be done in this area.

UK company Axon has developed a city car, a 'B' size car with dimensions very close to a Citroen C1 but with a complete body frame weighing it claims only 50 kg.

Demands for lighter cars which minimise fuel use and emissions encouraged the company to develop its 'body in black' (BiB) carbon fibre composite system which it says weighs 50kg for a city car to 80kg for a medium saloon car. Axon also says that ways to produce affordable platforms quickly, and with modest initial volumes that can be grown with demand, have great potential.

"With structures that are much more integrated you have fewer parts to make," explains Steve Cousins, Managing Director, Axon Automotive.

Cousins says that in a classic body in white there are 350 parts but that as there are fewer parts in his company's BiB it is a lot quicker to make the structure. According to Cousins a large part such as a 3m high beam would only require a 10 minute infusion time.

Axon's structure uses Axontex technology to manufacture very light weight composite structural beams with high strength and stiffness. According to Steve Cousins the system "provides all the stiffness and crash compliance yet allows external body panels of any desired material, from steel to thermoplastics and everything in between." He adds that a "new carbon fibre composite resin system Crestapol 1250 LV was developed with Scott Bader and was used on the city car frame to give lower cost and greater toughness."

Carbon Fibre Front Suspension Components for Hybrid Car Unveiled at Geneva

March 2013

A three way collaboration is on display at the Geneva motor show in the form of carbon fibre front suspension components for the hybrid car that is unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March 2013.

Espera React'ev has unveiled, at the Geneva Autoshow, the first hybrid sports car made by the Espera school together with Axon Automotive Ltd and the automotive centre of research at the University of Montbeliard. The carbon fibre front suspension was made using Axontex, Axon's patented carbon fibre solution.

This vehicle, which has been designed and built by students on the SBARRO course also took part in the 14e Rallye Monte-Carlo Energies Nouvelles, which makes it one of the most important cars in the history of Sbarro-Espera.

SBARRO Espera   AxonCarbonFibreSuspension

Axon has recently completed a series of successful shows at the CENEX Low UK Carbon Vehicle Event 2011 and Innovate 2011 at the London Business Design Centre, where a lot of high profile interest was generated in Axon's unique carbon fibre beam technology (Axontex) and lightweight vehicle platforms. Vince Cable (UK Government Business Secretary) and automotive design legend Gordon Murray were amongst the many interested visitors we received at the show. Axon looks forward to attending again next year, to exhibit some of the exciting new technology and work we will be carrying out over the coming year.

Press Images

UK Government Business Secretary Vince Cable admiring innovative lightweight car with Axon Managing Director

UK Government Business Secretary Vince Cable with Axon‚€™s Managing Director Steve Cousins at the London Innovate 2011 exhibition

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