Urban Vehicle Design Competition A Practice in Design 730508
Design activity on the University of Detroit's (U of D) entry in the 1972 Urban Vehicle Design Competition began in September 1971 with 60 senior engineering students in an interdisciplinary design course. Preliminary design considerations for powerplant, power train, emission controls, safety features, and styling were completed by December 1971. Development of hardware started in January 1972 with a 15-man team. Final configuration resulted in the modification of a 1970 Ford Maverick, shortened approximately 5 ft to a final length of 121 in and widened 1 ft to a width of 80 in. Features include 5 mph bumpers, automatic transmission, stratified charge engine, offset driveline, high level exterior lighting, side door beams, three occupant capacity, roll bar, front disc brakes, and electrically driven fan for cooling system.
At the final competition at the General Motors Proving Grounds in early August 1972, the U of D entry, along with entries from 65 other universities from throughout the United States and Canada, was evaluated for: emissions, safety, noise, consumer cost, drivability, acceleration, braking, handling, energy efficiency, 5 mph bumpers, turning radius, parkability, space utilization, and overall size.
The U of D urban vehicle design concept was awarded sixth place overall, and the top awards in safety and emissions for liquid fueled internal combustion engines.