Mulsanne's Corner NEWS

Mulsanne's Corner NEWS isn't meant to be THE source for up to date news items.  Instead what we are doing is providing an archive for information collected through out the Net related to new car developments.  Occasionally we do post first hand gathered items, but most of the time it is news from secondary sources such as Daily or Autosport (they are much better at it than we are!).  We will provide all sources for any news item shown here.

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July 2002

>>More details on the TLS transmission from William Hewland:

Mulsanne's Corner:  It seems that the TLS is more user/maintenance friendly given the potential nature of the '04 rules.  Is the TLS gearbox designed for quick removal from the car for ease of maintenance during practice, testing, at the shop?  What are the current priority issues in gearbox packaging and maintenance?  Will it still be ease of removal even if the rules move away from it?

Hewland:  I am a firm believer that the gearcasing should be a `non-change` item, along with the engine!  Where will it end, if rules are not made?  Can you just wheel out a whole fresh car during the night, as long as you use a wheel nut from the `first` car?

The Courage that finished 4th (1st behind the Audis) at LM in 2000 had a Hewland box that did 29 hours running without being touched!  I feel that morally it won the race, or at least beat any Audis that had new boxes.

I would not have the plain cheek to tell my potential clients that `our gearbox will fail on you, but in can be changed in a hurry`.

In actual fact the `quick-change` is facilitated more by the car design than gearbox design. The Ricardo/Audi 'box is just a big version of our Reynard Formula Nippon box. It represents absolutely nothing extraordinary I assure you. Be clear; any gearbox could be quick-changed if the car (and team) was designed around doing so. Remember the old DTM racing, when whole engines were changed in 10 minutes?  That was a clever chassis, not a clever engine.  Same thing.

The TLS is easy to work on, which is partly due to the minimalist `2 bearing` format of the cluster, which was mainly done to keep it light, short and stiff.  This happens to allow the whole cluster and gearshift
mechanism to be pulled out from one side.  We consider ease of changing ratios during testing as a key reason for ease of access, not to recover from failed parts!  That would be the tail wagging the dog!

>>Cadillac LMP02.  A little more snooping seems to reveal that the additional duct inbard of the front fender is an auxillary brake cooling duct.  Image courtesy Lyndon Fox via
>>Cadillac LMP02 high downforce fender shape on the Cadillac LMP02.
Debut fender: Washington D.C., 2002:
A section of the front fender has been dished revealing a hard edge.  Also, the headlight covers are a different shape, resulting in an entirely new fender.  Note the new duct just inboard of the fender.  Anyone's guess what that's feeding when you consider the brakes are cooled via the intake in the center of the nose. 
D.C. image courtesy of Lyndon Fox via
>>New Hewland gearbox. 

Courtesy of William Hewland:

Our brand new TLS Sportscar gearbox had a fantastic debut testing schedule and showed superb performance. Unfortunately, this was with Ascari, who have curtailed their KZR 1 sportscar programme. Ascari TM Ian Dawson was keen to
point out that the gearbox was superb, running for over 2500k trouble free in testing and Le Mans practice.

The TLS has won unanimous favour from prospective clients over the winter, beating the X-Trac and Ricardo options when clients came to choose their transmissions.  We do not know of any new Sportscar car being designed without TLS.

TLS is a remarkable new design, that features a one-piece main casing, thus avoiding the rear top wishbone mounting to a bolt on part (as with X-Trac, Ricardo and earlier Hewland designs).  The advantages are in increased rigidity and easier differential access.

The TLS also features the rare advantage of the entire gear cluster and selection mechanism being easily removed from one side of the gearbox.  This is facilitated by there only being two bearings on the shafts, i.e. no centre support bearings. TLS is consequently small and narrow in the diffuser area.

TLS features our new `SE` selection mechanism (as used in DTM) which has been developed for semi-auto or manual sequential use.

Each TLS is designed in close partnership with the respective chassis designers to optimise installation. Each client will have its own main case design.  The TLS weighs in at `well under 70kg`, including integral engine oil tank, suspension mounts and adapter.

TLS orders have come from Ascari, Piper, Nismo (Japan) and Lister.  Further enquiries are being processed also.

©Copyright 2002, Michael J. Fuller