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Resistance, full throttle



The makers stand united: Vashisht Maheshwari, Rahul Ahlawat, Raj Kapoor, Rajat Vig, Arvind Chhikara, Rohit Garg and Rajit Johri.

A CAULDRON full of luck, a hundred tablespoons of persistence cooked in the potion of dreams on the fire of time, and there you are with a recipe so potent that even Harry Potter from Hogwarts would have been cast in its spell. What more? The recipe moves at a speed of 50 kilometres per hour. Sounds confusing? Well it's Resistance, an all-terrain vehicle designed and fabricated by the students of our very own Delhi College of Engineering. Resistance is the first ever Indian entry and the second ever from Asia into a Mini Baja competition if the nine-member team who designed and fabricated it is to be believed. A Baja is an international car design competition judged on the basis of originality, design, endurance, power, suspension and a lot more. The Society of automobile engineers -- SAE - organises seven such events every year, this one being in South Africa.

"We started out fourteen months back and have since spent over Rs. 2 lakhs on its design and research," says team captain Rahul Ahlawat, a third year mechanical engineering student from DCE. He further adds: "We went to attend the Symposium of International Automotive Technology 2003 where the directors of companies such as Daimler Chrysler, Maruti, etc. were present, to get the know-how."

Backed up by months of research, Resistance now boasts of custom designed components, a roll cage space frame made of seamless pipes, double wishbone independent suspension, disc breaks, collapsible steering system, four point safety harness belt system, a firewall and a range of other safety features.

"The designs were sketched under the guidance of Noida based Performance Auto, and subsequently software such as AutoCad and Pro E were also used. It's been a great learning experience," explains Vashishtha Maheshwari, a second year student. "But it has been a long and tough journey. Cash strapped, we had to modify several components from old Maruti and Tata vehicles. However no compromises were made in the design. For example we went for Continuous Variable Transmission system instead of the conventional gearboxes," adds the whole team.

So far so good, but a long journey awaits the enthusiasts who have been testing the car on the roads for over a month now. While optimum spring and damper settings are still required, the main thing that dampens the spirits is that the effort has been a lone battle. Companies such as J.K. Tyres have

come up to sponsor them, but a lot more sponsors are required and the students promise to give them a platform before the world. So let's see where the throttle valve turns, clutched firmly as it is in the grip of economic controllers.

S.M.YASIR

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