Serpent have conducted a rather interesting interview with their chief designer; Michael Salven regarding the development of their latest ERYX 3.0 touring car. Check it out in full below.
Q: Which drivers and developers mainly worked on the new version and when did you get started?
A: In Germany we have 2 key drivers that assist in the development of the 411 ERYX, which are Marc Fischer as top driver and David Ehrbar as driver and analyser/engineer. At the races and on the internet we picked up the feedback of drivers, and together with my own experience in race car design, we decide on the developments.
You can’t really say when we started as it’s an ongoing process, day and night but at some point you need to decide an introduction date and confirm what to include. Many new ideas are being developed and tested again now, as we also are in the year of the Worlds in USA.
Q: The ERYX 3.0 has the aluminium chassis as standard. Why did you choose that and what is specific about the design? Please also confirm that earlier versions of the carbon chassis, like the hard 2.0 and the 2.25 chassis still fit.
A: We have performed tests with a number of aluminum chassis, different shapes, thickness and with lowered side area’s and without, indoors and outdoors and decided pretty fast for this final one, as its always better so far. The lowered section on the side influence flex in the right way, as a full alu plate is too stiff.
The lowered area also means the battery and other components can be mounted very low, which is good for the center of gravity. The carbon chassis as used on the 411 1.0 and 2.0 also still fits, and the 3 version top decks too, so you can “play” with many variations depending on the track and grip levels.
Q: What effect has the new motor mount you developed had?
A: The motor mount is a lot lighter and is very low and it’s mounted to the alu chassis very close to the centerline, so influence on flex is even. It doubles up as midshaft holder. Both for stock and mod it fits very well.
Q: We all know that playing with flex in touring car is a big thing, what has the ERYX 3.0 to offer in that respect?
A: Main component is the new alu chassis for sure with the lowered sides. Then the flex type top deck plays a main role. The top deck mounts to the front and rear brackets and there is an additional mounting point near the motor mount using a spacer. On top of that we have an optional stiffener which mounts in the centerline of the car. When you use that, you have two options to use the spacer, in the rear and near the front.
You can use the spacer then only front or only rear or both. It will also depend whether you run stock or mod. All electronic components can be mounted in such way that influence on flex is very small, so the chassis and topdeck can do the “work “. Serpent offers the suspension arms in v2 hard and medium. Mostly used now is v2 hard, but medium may work well in some lower grip conditions as well.
Q: In the list of specs I see that a lot of attention went into weight reduction. Is the ERYX 3.0 closer to the minimum weight?
A: For sure weight has a major influence on handling and performance, but more so the center of gravity. With the slightly higher weight of the alu chassis we put the weight as low as possible and tried to reduce it higher in the car. We wanted to make sure that you still can play with the separate weights we offer to create the preferred balance.
Q: The ERYX 3.0 has the new version double joint cardan shafts as standard, that many drivers will like, can you explain again the main reason to use those and what’s new on the v2 type?
A: The double joint cardans are made in v2 type with clips instead of the shrink tube. Makes maintenance easier. The DJC’s prevent chatter, which may occur under high grip conditions and under close to full steering angles. They provide more turn-in and a much smoother steering. We had to put it into the kit because it was such a favorite item.
Q: The spool is now a version with blades. What is the key benefit?
A: It’s a one pieces spool is lighter, hard anodized and has the drive cups integrated. The blades will increase lifespan a lot!
Q: I see that also the ERYX 3.0 has this cool looking servo mount system. Can you explain the key benefits?
A: The servo mount is connected to the mounts which also hold the steering system in place. It’s mounted basically in the centerline of the chassis, so no negative flex influence. In this way very few parts are needed, and the center of gravity is as low as possible.
Q: the ERYX 3.0 has all the new V2 hard suspension parts inside, what is the main reason for that? Why the new shock mount position and why mount the anti-rollbar in front of the rear arm?
A: The hard suspension arms give the best performance, so the shocks, springs and anti-roll bars, combined with chassis-flex can be used to the max. The new position of the shock was a request of a lot of drivers who felt that the older two position where either too far in or too far out. We think that the new center lower shock position gives more grip. Same with the new rear anti-roll bar mounting position.