MSU Baja's Operational Cars

All Baja SAE designs are based around a 10HP Briggs and Stratton engine. The engine cannot be modified or altered in anyway, so it is up to each team to design around the engine to produce a competitive car. Each year the MSU Baja Race Team approaches this task with renewed enthusiasm, working together to build on previous successes while developing new ideas and technologies to create a custom vehicle.

 

2016- ace

Chief Engineers: Ray Renaud, Tom Sheldon                        Project Manager: Michael Holland

 

 

2015- Black Betty

Chief Engineers: Evan Boyers, Brad Labaere            Project Managers: Trevor Laskowski, Briita Wanhala

Betty was built over the course of the 2014-2015 school year. Betty's highlights include a custom built gearbox, a completely new chassis design, and a new rear suspension configuration. Betty competed in Auburn, Maryland, and Oregon. In Auburn, Betty placed 54th after having to withdraw from the endurance race, in Maryland, she placed a season high 25th overall, and in Oregon, 35th place. One particular highlight is that in Maryland Betty completed the endurance race without anything breaking, and never having to leave the track other than for fuel. 

 

2014- Cerberus (Hellhound)

Chief Engineer: Thomas Dionne            Project Managers: Briita Wanhala


Cerberus competed at Baja SAE Kansas, and Illinois  Some of Cerberus’s  notable accomplishments are the 14th place in sales in Kansas, as well as a 13th place in Design in Illinois. Cerberus was the first car since 2010 to finish the entire four hour endurance race.

The engine delivers power to the wheels via a belt-driven continuously variable transmission and a Dana Spicer transaxle. Cerberus was the first car in MSU Baja history to use a transaxle, which incorporates the gearbox and an open rear differential in one self-contained unit.

    The front suspension is a short long arm suspension that is custom designed to withstand the harshest off-road terrains. The front suspension features knuckles and hubs that were student designed. These designs incorporated multiple iterations of FEA with force data taken from vehicle testing to ensure strength and weight reduction in unstressed areas. The rear suspension is a trailing arm suspension system that incorporated an anti-roll bar to reduce body roll during cornering.

The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The unique shaped chassis is designed to safely transmit forces under severe driving conditions and keep the driver comfortable during long drives. The body panels and safety guarding are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber.


Cerberus no longer competes in SAE events, but is continued to be raced in non-SAE events throughout the year and used for driving practice at our test track.

 

2012/2013- Nadia

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2012 Chief Engineer: Nick Kuuttila        2012 Project Manager: Katie Worley

2013 Chief Engineer: Austin Tokarski        2013 Project Manager: Erik Dudek

 

This vehicle delivers power via a belt-driven continuously variable transmission and a high-low range gearbox with driver input.  The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The body panels and safety guarding are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber. She features an open differential to transfer power to the wheels that is used in turn with a cutting brake for maximum power transfer for increased maneuverability through tight corners. Nadia is our second car to incorporate a rear multi-link suspension.

 

Nadia no longer competes in SAE events, but is continued to be raced in non-SAE events throughout the year and used for driving practice at our test track. Nadia is currently being rebuilt to be used with an 18 horsepower engine (compared to the usual 10 horsepower), the goal being to make a fun, fast car for the team to drive outside of competitions.

 

 

2011- Athena

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Chief Engineer: Trevor DeLand        Project Manager: Jelena Paripovic


Athena is all about being light and nimble, weighing in under 370 pounds. The vehicle delivers power via a belt-driven continuously variable transmission and a high-low range gearbox with driver input. The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The body panels and safety guarding are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber. She has a custom limited slip differential to transfer power to the wheels. Athena is our first car to incorporate a rear multi-link suspension that reduces weight, flex from loading, and better suspension dynamics.


Athena no longer competes in SAE events, but is continued to be raced in non-SAE events throughout the year and used for driving practice at our test track.

 

2010- Rhonda

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Chief Engineer: Andrew Cawood        Project Manager: Trevor DeLand


Rhonda placed 9th overall at the water world challenge at the east competition hosted by RIT.

Rhonda delivers power via a belt-driven continuously variable transmission and a custom planetary gearbox that can be taken apart in minutes.  She has an open differential to transfer power to the wheels that is used in turn with a cutting brake for maximum power transfer for increased maneuverability through tight corners. The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The body panels and safety guarding are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber.


Rhonda no longer competes in SAE events, but is continued to be raced in non-SAE events throughout the year and used for driving practice at our test track.

 

2008- Willy

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Chief Engineer: Ken Maisonville        Project Manager: Emily (Duszynski) Khouphongsy


Willy is the team's first four-wheel drive vehicle.  An electronically-engaged shaft-driven front differential allow the driver to select between rear or four-wheel drive with the flick of a switch.  The vehicle delivers power via a belt-driven continuously variable transmission and a high-low-reverse gearbox linked to a driver-controlled shifter.  All of these components offer a plethora of power-train configurations to match the varying conditions faced during a Baja race.  Every aspect of the car has been engineered to minimize weight without compromising strength.  The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio; body panels are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber, able to absorb impact without breaking.


 

2007- Car 4 (Four)

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Chief Engineer: Jacob Schulz        Project Manager: Ben Usher


    Car 4 competed… The our most award winning car in the history of Michigan State Baja. She finished 8th place in the Midwest comp and 4th place in the East and West Comps.

Car 4 delivers power via a tuned Polaris continuously variable transmission and a Polaris gearbox.  The chassis is comprised of TIG-welded 4130 Chromoly steel tube selected for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The body panels and safety guarding are constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber. Four features an independent rear suspension with anti-roll bar to increase stiffness for cornering. Four also uses an open differential with a cutting brake for increased maneuverability.