The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT has a unique shape and an advanced, laser-based propulsion system.
It was created in a no-rules atmosphere to challenge designers and test engineers to deliver the most exhilarating sensations.
“This is a fantasy car by design,” said Frank Saucedo, who oversaw the team that worked on the concept. “Like the original Chaparral race cars decades ago, the Chaparral 2X VGT weaves advanced aerospace technologies into the design to help achieve its performance goals.”
The Chaparral 2X VGT’s concept propulsion system is inspired by technology derived from advanced work targeted at space travel and future aircraft design.
It features a mid-mounted laser beamed-energy propulsion system, which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate tremendous thrust in the lightweight race car.
With a 671-kW laser, powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries, and an air-powered generator to provide 900 horsepower worth of thrust, the Chaparral 2X VGT will be capable of a 240-mph top speed in the video game with 0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds.
The propulsion system’s position in the composite chassis complements an unconventional yet highly active prone driver configuration – face down with the driver’s arms and legs splayed toward the wheels.
In fact, the race car’s propulsion and suspension systems are built around the driver, enabling progressive strategies of active and driver-adjustable aerodynamics. ‘Think of it as adapting a wing suit to a racing car, where the driver’s movements control certain aspects of the aero package,’ said Saucedo. ‘In many ways, the Chaparral 2X VGT is like racing wing suit, with a protective fuselage for ‘flying’ very low to the ground.’
The driver-enabled aerodynamics eliminate the need for large, conventional wings and other aero devices used to generate grip-enhancing downforce – an attribute that helps reduce the overall mass of the Chaparral 2X VGT’s minimalist structure.
Only essential elements are on board, with instrumentation, for example, projected on the driver’s helmet visor.
Additionally, lightweight chassis components reduce the sprung weight of the race car, enabling the car to provide tremendous cornering grip with a relatively small footprint.