Our engineering team evolved a design for a composite chassis that could be used for a variety of vehicles. To highlight the company’s capabilities and the flexibility of the Bio-Chassis design, Berkeley Coachworks has already developed 6 designs, two for the Berkeley brand and four for external clients.
These include mid-engine ICE configurations for i4, V6 and V8 powertrains, as well as a front wheel drive set up for the Berkeley SE328 concept car.
The chassis is also suitable for electric power with designs finalised for front, rear and all wheel drive. Two of these have been specified by customers for an all-wheel drive electric supercar and a school car for race circuits using a single electric motor and integral gearbox differential unit driving the rear wheels.
As well as forming the basis of the Berkeley car range, the chassis is available to customers as a rolling chassis, with or without powertrain.
In the old tradition of coachbuilders, we can take your styling idea and transform it into reality. Using the latest CAD design software, early sketches can be efficiently turned into fully rendered designs on varying backgrounds.
The finished design can then be machined using state of the art CNC milling machines combined with our low investment bodywork construction methods and Bio composites.
The Berkeley brand has always innovated. Having been one of the first to use a composite chassis, we are keen to follow the tradition but add a new twist.
Looking for a fresh approach, our team explored the use of plant based materials in the construction of the new composite chassis, eventually specifying a blend of flax to replace carbon fibre and tree resins to replace the chemical resins. This is now known internally as our ‘Bio-chassis’.
The Bio-chassis forms the basis of the new Berkeley car range combining a lightweight monolithic structure with modern running gear, advanced double wishbone suspension and push rod actuated spring damper units. Future testing of the bio-chassis and its technology will be carried out using a combination of virtual computer FED analysis and real world track testing. We are also going one step further and testing it in the air, through our planned involvement in the new AirRaceE electric aeroplane racing series around a 5km course at heights of 10m above the ground at 250mph.
Our Chief Designer has come up with a fresh design for the pylon racer which will test the capabilities of our
Bio-chassis material to the extreme in high G cornering around the circular course. The electric aeroplane race series also gives us the ideal testing ground for the electric motors and batteries for the Berkeley Bandit GT electric car due to be launched in 2021 in time for the first AirRaceE event.
The original Berkeley SE328 was manufactured between 1957 and 1958 using a 328cc two-cylinder engine producing 18bhp driving the front wheels. 1259 cars were built, with many exported around the world.
Our work on the new Berkeley initially concentrated on a modern version of the SE328, featuring a two-stroke engine powering the front wheels.
With the design work and technical specification set, the car scored well in consumer feedback clinics. There are no plans in place to produce the new SE328 but many of its components are shared with our new Berkeley Bandit models.
Our Berkeley SE328 concept model features a 2-stroke engine. Using the latest direct injection technology, the 2-cylinder engine produces 164bhp in a unit weighing only 42kg and is coupled to a CVT transmission driving the front wheels.