MercedesBenz DTW by Martin Chatelier, France

2017: Le Mans 2030: Design for the Win.


Martin Chatelier
Hauts de Seine, France
Strate College

Martin Chatelier (French, 21 years old)

I’m a car design student from STRATE School of Design at Sèvres (Paris). I started my 4th year in september 2016 with a 5 months internship at Daimler in Germany.

  • 2010, Job shadowing at Idestyles (design agency specialized in transportation) in Guyancourt (Paris)
  • 2011-2013, 3 months in an architectural firm run by Magalie Roucher (DPLG architect)
  • 2014, Collaboration with the company Guitteny (carpentry and layout) on a stairway project exhibited at the “habitat” salon in Nantes
  • 2015, Design with Adrien Blériot (friend student from STRATE) of a brass lamp called “Orb” with Charles house. The lamp was at the “Revelation” exhibition in the Grand Palais in Paris.
  • 2016, BMW Young Designer Award – Finalist
  • 2016, (5 months), Internship at Renault Design as interior automotive designer – Guyancourt, France
  • 2016, (5 months, actually), Internship at Mercedes-Benz Design as exterior automotive designer – Sindelfingen, Germany

I’m passionate about car, cinema, eyes, space and magnets. One of my dream is to draw for the cinema. I hope that Mercedes will come back, one day at Le Mans !

The Mercedes-Benz DTW is a compendium of technologies destined to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2030. This prototype highlights innovations like the Michelin 3D Print tires or the AERS (Aerodynamics Energy Recovery System) inspired by old Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. This vehicle is motorised by a forgotten technology but still incredible; the amazing Tesla turbine. Everything has been done to ensure the show and the victory of the silver arrows.

Over all the Mercedes-Benz DTW is inspired by a sculpture of Emmanuel Zurini, a photographer of le Mans who recreates legendary cars with pure materials. His sculpture are incredibly simple, highlighting elegant volumes on a base made of a different material. Here the flat bottom of the Mercedes is like a marble base wich supports the cockpit.

The Mercedes-Benz DTW has four airbrakes inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR and thrust Reversers as we can see in aviation. These four active panels at the rear of the vehicle allow it to increase its drag to reduce braking distance and preserve the brakes. These airbrakes are also used for AERS (Aerodynamics Energy Recovery System) mounted on the car. Indeed, the air enters the air intakes located inside the panels, then is compressed naturally to be injected to the Tesla turbine (here the turbine operated with compressed air). Mercedes-Benz also has DTW active aileron allowing it to adapt the downforce to gain Vmax in straight line without losing the necessary support when cornering.

The Mercedes-Benz DTW is powered by two electric motors and charged by a Tesla turbine using compressed air stored in two high-capacity tanks on the sides of the vehicle. It’s a gamble that makes Mercedes leaving the thermic engine to go to the air hybrid technology. With this prototype, Mercedes is the first manufacturer to develop a chassis and cockpit entirely made of graphene. Weight gain is breathtaking and the pilot’s safety is enhanced. Graphene has the distinction of being transparent, allowing the pilot to have a larger field in the cockpit without altering the structure of it.

The Tesla turbine is a bladeless centripetal flow turbine patented by Nikola Tesla in 1913. It is referred to as a bladeless turbine. A Tesla turbine consists of a set of smooth disks, with nozzles applying a moving fluid to the edge of the disk. The fluid drags on the disk by means of viscosity and the adhesion of the surface layer of the fluid. As the fluid slows and adds energy to the disks, it swirls into the center exhaust. Since the rotor has no projections, it is very sturdy. The yield of this turbine can reach 95% (according to recent numerical simulations uncontested) against 80% for the current conventional turbines. Its amazing simplicity makes it a formidable engine perfectly suited to an endurance race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (Advantages: High simple construction with only one assembly on the rotor axis, Reliability exceptional, small size and low weight, Quasi Absence of vibrations, Minimal manufacturing-cost, Green motor)

Le Mans is not a particularly difficult track for tire wear. However the circuit is long (13.5 km) and consists of many different surfaces. Because the circuit is long, it is very common to have some wet stretches of road and other dry. It is therefore difficult to have high-performance tires on the entire length of the circuit.
Michelin Tire 3D Print is a system that is to spray accuretely gum directly on the tire while driving. This highly advanced system and high precision vulcanized pulverized rubber in seconds.

When the driver wants to change his tires, he must be in one of the straight lines that allow 3D printing (see top view racetrack, red straight lines). He chose one of two types of gum embedded in the tank next to him and the kind of impression he wants to perform on the treads (clamp, gum type …).

Once in a straight lines, it can activate the system. The active fins are deployed to raise the temperature in tires and exert maximum pressure on them. Small 3D printers behind each wheel spray gum chooses high-speed tires. The tires reach a temperature of about 140 ° C and just sprayed gum vulcanized under the effect of heat and pressure exerted on the wheels. The printing is complete and the bonds between the rubber molecules and sulfur formed. Active fins are folded and compressed air is directly sent to the compressed air cylinders Ranque tube located below 3D printers. The air injected into the Ranque tube which spring at the tread is extremely cold (-72 ° C above its initial temperature). This cold air quickly cools the tire tread wich return to normal temperature.

This means the Mercedes Benz DTW start the race with less gum on its wheels and the different type of gum used to print new tire tread are grippy and wear quickly to always have tires adapted to the racetrack.

Advantages: Ability to print different types of gums (hard, medium, soft …), Print custom cleats (height and width adapted to the water on the track to have otpimals tires), We can go up to manage the mechanical flu (ex: smaller tread to less consumption and more Vmax), Fast adaptation to race conditions, makes the most efficient and safest car, Avoid and fix flats that can be created after a heavy braking, Less passage to stand without removing them, Created the show on the track, No addition of heavy or removable system in the wheel, keep the best performing and most reliable wheel as possible, Adapt your race strategy.