920Engineering (920E) is to expand its product development program for high-performance road vehicles following a successful debut season on the Formula 1 track.
The Warwickshire, UK-based firm is the first new braking system supplier to enter into the F1 supply chain in almost 10 years. 920E states that it has been strengthening its engineering resource and is embarking on a multi-million-pound investment program as part of its technology-led strategy, which includes products for motorsport, performance road cars, military and autonomous vehicles.
920E’s entry into Formula 1, supplying Force India, has coincided with the team’s most successful season ever, achieving 187 points in the Constructors Championship. As a result, the company is set to expand its design and development programs further when it opens its new Centre of Automotive Excellence at Leamington Spa, in a year’s time.
Outline planning permission for the leading-edge center has just been granted by the local council.
“We warmly congratulate Force India on their consistent and best-ever performance this season. It is a great honor to have been part of the package that has supported this success and a pleasure to work with them,” explained managing director of Liberty Vehicle Technologies, Anthony Blackwell. “With the combined mechanical design and manufacturing capability of 920E and the control electronics and mechatronic capabilities of our Shiftec team, we are working on multiple technologies that have proven themselves on-track and have applications across braking and steering systems for the coming generation of electric, hybrid and low-emissions, high-efficiency vehicles.”
Following approval by the NASCAR series in 2014, 920E began its evolution into motorsport and high-performance providing braking systems for the US racing circuit in the 2015 season and subsequently used that expertise to develop brakes for Formula 1.
Blackwell explained that 920E’s sister company Shiftec, also part of Liberty Vehicle Technologies, supplies a wide range of products to premium motorsport series including highly controlled off-board starter motors to various Renault engines on the Formula 1 grid, clutch control to IndyCar, and various LMP programs, among others. However, he added that the caliper supply to Force India represents a major evolution in the firm’s on-track capability within the Formula 1 series.
“We have a highly talented team, which includes people with extensive Formula 1, GT, WRC and performance-vehicles experience. All the high-technology engineering is complemented by an industrial, in-house manufacturing capability, which enables us to achieve a rapid turnaround. In some cases, we have delivered from clean-sheet to finished calipers in only eight weeks. This is only achievable by having absolute control of the full process.
“Operating in Formula 1 is very much a collaborative process, working with the F1 team to optimize an inevitable balance between aerodynamics, stiffness and thermal management. We were also able to bring a commercial approach to the operation, which achieved the right result in double-quick time and kept costs down.”