About CR04

The main aim of CR04 was to make a simpler, lighter and easier to build car than the others as the main problem in previous years was that the cars had suffered from reliability issues and a lack testing due to long development times.

To improve the car it was decided to, for the first time, use an Aprilia SXV 550 V-twin engine as this engine weighed only 27kg compared to the 60-70kg for a typical 600cc in-line four cylinder motorcycle engines used before. The chassis was designed to comfortably and safely accommodate a range of drivers, meaning that the car was easier to drive than Cardiff's previous entries. The chassis was a full-monocoque constructed from aluminium sandwich panel. This is a material Cardiff has used extensively and has gained experience in its use from previous cars. The engine was fitted with a Suter slipper clutch which allows the engine to "free-wheel" on throttle closing, enhancing the drivability of the car by reducing the severity of the engine braking. CR04 retained a short wheelbase and narrow track width in order to negotiate the tight autocross and endurance course using less steering angle and a smaller turn radius than is possible on the longer and wider cars, a benefit found to outweigh the slightly increased load transfer. The rear track of the car was slightly narrower than the front, to avoid the driver clipping a cone with the rear wheels in slaloms.

Unfortunately CR04 was only completed midway through the Formula Student event so a good result was not expected. A number of problems were discovered on the track which the team managed to overcome to get the car running for the endurance event. The car survived until the half-way pit stop; however, the car was excluded due to a brake fluid leak. Although the team did not achieve a record result, they learned about the many practical problems in the design and construction of complex machines, experience they took forward into the design of the next car.


Body Aluminium honeycomb monocoque
Brakes AP Racing, Brembo calipers
Suspension Front and rear a-arm, pull rod actuated
Tyres Hoosier C2000 R25B
Wheels 3 piece, Keizer rims, custom centres
Engine Name Aprilia SXV 550 V-twin
Engine type SOHC fluid cooled two cylinder four-stoke
Engine Capacity 553 cc
Bore & Stroke 80 x 55 (mm)
Compression Ratio 12.5 : 1
Inlet Wave tuned carbon fibre plenum (side fill)
Injection Stock injectors
Exhaust 2 into 1, stainless steel, Quill tri-oval silencer
Drive Train Student designed aluminium spool
Final Drive 2.925:1

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