The ECV prototype was an applied research project for material technologies and processes.
The starting point had to be the highest performing vehicle that FIAT had at that time.
The reference point was therefore the Lancia Delta S4, which had demonstrated its potential during the 1986 World Rally Championship
and had the latest chassis, engine and transmission technologies, all of which were carried-over (excluding the volumetric/turbo arrangement).
The ECV had the following technological evolutions with respect to the Lancia Delta S4:
Body Structure in Composite Materials
Engine with Two Turbo-chargers in a unique configuration
.:: Mathematical Model of the ECV's Composite Chassis ::.
The ECV Composite Central section was constructed using honeycomb core (ALU ?) sandwiched in between Carbon-Fibre or Kevlar sheets, impregnated and sealed with Epoxy Resin. Rigid Foam was also used as an alternative core-material in some areas.
This method served to create a rigid, load-carrying structure, which also formed the shape of the vehicle.
The various thicknesses, Material selection, Carbon-Fibre weave and orientation were all selected to achieve the ideal weight/Stiffness ratio, according to vehicle testing on the S4 which gave values for the forces acting on the structure (suspension loads etc).
A FEA model for the structure was created and the load paths and maximum values/critical nodes in the structure were analysed by Computer.