NIFFT’s octane addicts with their 10kg silver trophy in front of Colosseum in Rome earlier this month
The Trespasser has been exonerated.
For, it is no sneaky intruder, but a well-deserving 500cc racing monster from the stable of National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), Ranchi, to become the first entry ever from the Indian subcontinent to win the top prize at Formula SAE 2013.
The prestigious student design competition, being organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers since 1978, was held at Varano de’ Melegari in Parma, Italy, from September 13 to 16.
Thrusters — the daring dozen from the Ranchi tech cradle — conceived and designed The Trespasser over eight months for Rs 6.5 lakh to win the Class III (business plan and design) category that saw 97 student teams from across the globe, including seven from India.
So, how did NIFFT’s hot wheels, with a top speed ability of 160kmph, trounce its formidable opponents from automobile nations like Japan and Germany, besides the US, France, Italy and others?
“The Trespasser has a 500cc engine, with a chain drive, side intake systems and conventional pedals and braking. It runs at 120kmph and can attain 160kmph. And, it is pocket-friendly too. The judges assessed our car’s feasibility factor in mass production, besides scrutinising features, before declaring us winners,” said final-year manufacturing engineering student Utsav Mahto.
Utsav and his octane addict friends returned to Ranchi on Tuesday with the three-feet-high silver Formula SAE trophy weighing a solid 10kg.
Team member Kumar Sambhav said they started designing The Trespasser from January and completed the car by August. “Twelve of us left for Italy on September 9. The competition was tough. There were teams from Germany and Japan. They were all technologically sound. But, we scored because of cost feasibility. We made a people’s car capable of racing,” Sambhav said.
While the car itself had a low price tag by auto standards, its transportation to Italy was heavy on the pocket — a cool Rs 4.5 lakh. The trip for the NIFFT students cost another Rs 5 lakh. The department of science and technology, Jharkhand, JSEB, TVNL and JREDA together sponsored the deserving venture.
After their historic win, the terrific 12 — 10 from final year manufacturing and two from metallurgy — were invited to tea in Rome by the Indian Ambassador to Italy Amit Verma.
On Wednesday, the students handed over the trophy to their faculty advisers Manoj Kumar and Amitesh Kumar. NIFFT director Sanjay Kumar said it was “just the beginning” of a winning streak. “Our students have not just done us proud, they have brought laurels for the state and country,” he added.
The Trespasser is the first Formula car designed by NIFFT. Last year, an ATV from the same stable had won the second prize at Baja SAE on Natrax, Indore.