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Six-Wheeled Covini C3A Runs Goodwood, To Be Joined By Race And Eco Versions

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On: Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 2:50PM | By: Chris Weiss


Six-Wheeled Covini C3A Runs Goodwood, To Be Joined By Race And Eco Versions

The oddity that is the Covini C3A became the first six-wheeled supercar to make an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The insect of supercars attracted much attention at the event, leaving people wondering why the Italian automaker chose to build a car with two extra wheels.

According to Covini's press release, the company attended Goodwood because it was the first six-wheeler ever to be invited by Lord March. As one would expect, show goers were intrigued by the concept. Covini explains that the six wheels provide a variety of safety and handling advantages including better stopping power (four front discs and four sets of rubber), better stability, higher cornering speeds and the ability to move safely in the event of a flat [front] tire.

Any good car is more than just wheels, and the Covini C3A brings a 500-hp 4.2-liter Audi V-8 engine to the party, along with a tubular steel frame and carbon fiber body that keeps curb weight down to around 2,530 lbs. (pretty impressive for a six wheeler). When those horses get the six wheels spinning, the C3A is capable of speeds up to around 190 mph.

Interestingly, the press release below details plans for additional C3A models. A track-ready 'Speedster' version is already in the prototype stage. Aimed at the racing circuit, the Speedster should provide even better speed, handling and grip by way of its six wheels. Covini also plans a performance hybrid that derives power from a combination of gas engine and electric motor(s). That model will also incorporate a regenerative braking system and will be aimed at providing a sporty and cleaner drive.

PRESS RELEASE:

New 6 wheeler takes Goodwood Festival of Speed by storm

Covini C3A is the first 6 wheeler supercar to receive the very exclusive invitation to Goodwood Festival of Speed by Lord March and was one of the stars of the show all weekend.

The exclusive and groundbreaking car attracted lots of interest from sport enthusiasts, both in the paddock and running up the hill. The Covini corner of the supercar paddock was constantly full of people marveling at the novelty of the car and wondering why... why 6 wheels?

We asked Gianluca Covini, son of the Italian expert and mechanical engineer Ferruccio Covini who developed his passion for cars and engines by focusing his experimentation and innovation towards a very unique prototype.

Gianluca explains that, for performance enthusiasts, four front wheels offer the ability to get around a racetrack faster than ever before as better traction offers higher cornering speeds and deeper braking, particularly when the pavement is slippery or less than ideal.

In a roadgoing sense, even without considering the passive safety afforded by two front wheels at each corner (which means a front tyre puncture will not cause the vehicle to lose control), 6 wheels will grant additional stopping power afforded by four front discs and four tyre treads to transmit the force - although the individual area of each tyre tread is smaller than that of a traditional tyre, the total area is greater. Increased grip is also guaranteed by the drop in the individual unsprung weight of each wheel, offering much better directional stability and higher cornering speeds than a four wheeler. Finally the Covini feels more comfortable than it's 4 wheels rivals, thanks to less unsprung weight at each wheel, that allows the suspension to control wheel movement better and guarantees more evenly distributed reaction forces in the suspension.

Powered by an Audi 4.2 litre V8 that produces nearly 500bhp, and with its weight kept to just 1150kg using a tubular steel frame and a lightweight carbon fibre body, the Covini C3A is capable of exceeding speeds of 300kph (190mph).

Powered by its great technical innovation and Italian passion, the Covini C3A has been presented in the UK by Genius Car Ltd, a company founded by Eugenio Carugati (another Italian engineer with a passion for cars) and it's aimed at the top end of the market who requires unique, bespoke and innovative solutions.

With its bold, timeless design, genius technical innovation and extraordinary performance, the Covini C3A might lead the way to more manufacturers going the way of six wheels and, if we judge by the interest from both enthusiasts and experts at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, we'll certainly see some interesting developments in the world of motoring.

The Covini C3A Story

Covini is a niche name known primarily by car enthusiasts in automotive circles - that's almost certain to change thanks to the company's latest design - a six wheel sports car along similar engineering lines to the famous Tyrrell P34 Formula One racing car of the mid-seventies. The Tyrrell P34 is without doubt the most recognisable car in the history of world motor sport - it remains the only six wheeler ever to start (and even win) a Grand Prix.
Today, the spirit of that extraordinary machine lives on in the exquisite, hand crafted Covini C3A - the only supercar in the world with a remarkable six wheel configuration. Powered by an Audi 4.2 litre V8 that produces nearly 500bhp, and with its weight kept to just 1150kg using a tubular steel frame and a lightweight carbon fibre body, the C3A is capable of exceeding speeds of 300kph (190mph).

The Covini C3A is the realisation of a 35 year dream that stretches back to the era of the Tyrell P34. After constructing a few prototypes as a hobby, in 1978 mechanic Ferruccio Covini founded Covini Engineering, a small company dedicated to the construction of static and automotive prototypes. Built from his passion for cars and engines, his artisan company has always kept its focus on experimentation and innovation rather than big volume production.

The inspiration for his six wheeled design came after Covini noticed how little grip and comfort his 4 wheeled cars afforded him, particularly on wet, slippery roads. Fuelled by a desire to erase this problem, Covini and his small team set to work developing a prototype that would give greater power, braking and handling performance than any other car in the world.

The first tests provided Covini with more encouragement then he could have predicted. The prototype showed remarkable levels of performance and safety, as the six wheels gave the car a greater tyre surface. In addition to its fantastic handling, speed and braking, the original prototype also nullified aquaplaning in wet conditions, because the two foremost wheels clear the water for the ones behind them and allow better road adhesion.

Encouraged by the margin that the prototype had exceeded its forecasts, the project soon attracted the attention of a second mechanical engineer, Eugenio Carugati. Instantly falling in love with the car, Carugati joined forces with Covini and headed up a passionate team that developed the project in Covini's small workshop.

Other partners in the project have included DAEWOO (technological research on prototypes), BOSCH (electronic and braking system), BREMBO (brake system), MOMO (airbag and new technology), PIRELLI (special tyres and research), ANTERA (special ultra-light alloy wheels) and POLITECNICO DI MILANO (optimization of the chassis set-up).

There are many arguments for four front wheels - Tyrrell's aim with the P34 front-end layout was intended to minimize induced drag by reducing lift at the front and to turn that gain into the ability to enter and leave corners faster. The modern day C3A's six wheeled design offers many advantages over a conventional four wheel car. For performance enthusiasts, four front wheels offer the ability to get around a racetrack faster than ever before as better traction offers higher cornering speeds and deeper braking, particularly when the pavement is slippery or less than ideal.

In a roadgoing sense, the passive safety afforded by two front wheels at each corner means a front tyre puncture will not cause the vehicle to lose control (thanks to the other wheel next to it). Then there's the additional stopping power afforded by four front discs and four tyre footprints to transmit the force - although the individual area of each tyre footprint is smaller than that of a traditional tyre, the total area is greater.

Comfort is another consideration - less unsprung weight at each wheel allows the suspension to control wheel movement better and the overall ride benefits from more evenly distributed reaction forces in the suspension. The drop in the individual unsprung weight of each wheel also offers much better grip and better directional stability - with a well-matched set of tyres, a six-wheeler can be expected to have higher cornering speeds than a four wheeler.

With its bold, timeless design, genius technical innovation and extraordinary performance, the Covini C3A might lead the way to more manufacturers going the way of six wheels, now that modern computers, sensors and material science have all advanced to the degree necessary to control all the complexities of what's happening with those front wheels.

Covini is developing the Speedster version of its supercar

Genius Car Ltd is developing a prototype project for the speedster version of the C3A, the first 6 wheeled supercar. This exclusive car has been developed in the Covini factory and is now approaching the testing phase. This version of the C3A will only be driven on racing circuits and has already proven to beextremely fast and superior in braking, grip and road handling. GeniusCar is working hard on making Covini's exciting 6 wheeled sports car a champion that will change the rules of racing.

6 wheeled eco supercar

Covini is a sports car competing in fast, powerful and luxurious environment where performance and speed are the most important aspects and manufacturers cannot afford to compromise these factors. Covini wants to stand out and be different, this manufacturer has invested time and money and finally developed an eco sustainable project. The C3A will be an hybrid car, half petrol and half electric, able to combine power and speed typical of sport cars together with creativity and responsibility towards the environment and the planet. The car's electric engine will also be able to reuse the braking power, which, using a technique known in Formula 1, will guarantee clean energy to drive around town or cruise in the countryside without harming the environment, at the same time assuring top performance when pushed to the max on the tracks!




Comments

reply

DipStick | 1:58PM (Wed, Jul 13, 2011)

Oh my God! what is in the water in Italy? ugly machine....


reply

dwalter | 3:21PM (Wed, Jul 13, 2011)

weird. I'd like to see more videos of this thing.



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