Company/Client/Project: Sparrowhawk

Product/Team utilised: Partnerships, EEC, FAH, FBL

The Challenge

  • To make a two-seater roadworthy sports car with commercial potential.
  • The vehicle has to look dramatic while being practical and containing elements such as opening doors, luggage space, a removable roof, the ability to store the roof and an interchangeable windscreen. It also has to keep up with the latest technology internally.
  • The car needs a design that is economical to manufacture while having features to ensure its shape is easily adaptable for future models to be created.

The Solution

  • The Faculty of Engineering, Environment & Computing worked has with a number of other faculties throughout the University as well as external companies to design and begin creating the Sparrowhawk.

The students in the Faculty of Art and Humanities were to design a car. They were given a brief as well as dimensions to ensure the car would be industry standard.

The body of the car was then created by Nick Shakespeare, a Coventry University alumnus who runs his own company, Bespoke Design – just one of several companies across the region who have supported the project.

The drive train, chassis and suspension has also been completely designed, however the longevity of the project is allowing students to correct problems and issues that are built into even mass produced cars. Work on the interior design, electronics and other technology within the car is currently being finalised.

A business case is currently being created with assistance from the Business School at the University and work is also being done to optimise the price of the vehicle.

The faculty is looking to create a spinout company and produce low quantities of the Sparrowhawk.

I gave the students guidelines, just like they would receive working in industry, to support their work on the project. The whole idea with this project is that each new year group is given where we are with the car at that moment and they can carry on and develop new concepts while having the bulk of the work done for them. The University deliberately recruits as many people from industry as they can and because of that policy we have a lot of expertise internally.

Mike Dickison Associate Dean of Enterprise & Commercial
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University of the year shortlisted
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