The TERRA, PRO and X1 Hyper Racers are fast. Very fast. Fast over rough terrain. Fast over sealed surfaces.
The secret to a Hyper's speed is weight, or the lack thereof. How ‘light’ can you make a race car, with full-on safety features and big boys performance ?
PRO - 185kg.
TERRA - 240kg.
X1 - 350kg.
The world's lightest race cars.
Safety at the budget end of motor sport was unheard of before the arrival of Hyper Racer.
Our cars have led the world with regard to safety. In addition to the included FIA approved crash structures, we've shown the way in head, cockpit and lateral intrusion design. Design features only now being investigated and implemented in other categories by the FIA and other governing bodies, 10 years after Hyper introduced them.
Looking for the biggest 'Bang for the Buck' in racing?
The Hyper Racer's have been designed as ‘Wash and Race’ vehicles and are ideal for the ‘one man race team’ who wants to race, year in - year out, on a modest budget
A Hyper Racer provides the driver with a level playing field, the emphasis being on driver ability, not the driver who spends the most money.
Racing driver, Jon Crooke, makes a 'napkin' sketch of the Hyper PRO Racer. It’s 1998 and the ‘racer’ is a concept he has had floating around in his head since the mid-eighties. Jon has a vision to produce a small racing car for long circuit racing. It will be an affordable step up from go-karts and will incorporate performance and safety features unheard of at the budget end of motor racing.
Traditionally, the first serious step into racing cars has been Formula Ford. Originally designed as an affordable starter class, the current high cost of this category has stopped almost all kart drivers from making the move up. As a result, the real racing talent, generations of potential National and World Champions, have melted away into the suburbs and obscurity.
The Hyper PRO Racer is an affordable turn-key product that will provide a 'real' solution to the current class gap. Jon calls his concept "The Missing Link".
Jon's first sketches feature design concepts such as the exo-skeleton space frame with the inside-out cockpit, swing-arm rear suspension, exposed mono-shocks front and rear, the longitudinal cockpit intrusion bars and the tube hugging body details - all features that will make it through to the final design.
But Jon is a designer engineer, not an engineer fabricator. Unable to find an engineer fabricator that shares his vision and passion, Jon pins an artists impression of his Hyper PRO Racer to the wall of his study and puts the project on the back-burner.
10 Years On
“Why don’t we build this?”
Dean Crooke was pointing at the artists impression on the wall of his fathers office. Dean had grown up glancing at the sketch from time to time, while practicing the art of karting and motocross. Jon’s ‘Missing Link’ racer was as valid now, as it was when he first imagined it a quarter of a century ago.
Only now, Dean was a race car design engineer and fabricator. And he shared Jon’s vision and passion - to build the world’s first fast, safe, affordable AND sustainable racing car.
They locked themselves in their workshop and a ‘skunkworks’ project was born. Days turned to weeks - months into years. Slowly an object of breathtaking beauty emerged. A racing car that satisfied their high standards of engineering quality and aesthetics. A serious toy - no compromises. And when the car was finished?
...... They opened the workshop doors - and let the sun shine in.
The Hyper X1, PRO and TERRA Racer's all share the same 'CORE" chassis.
Designed to incorporate industry leading safety features in the lightest possible package, the Hyper's CORE chassis provides a platform that can be mated to various engine and suspension configurations.
Weight and Speed
The natural enemy of speed is weight. And weight - or the lack thereof - is the Hyper Racer’s secret.
The negative effects of weight in an off-road race car are compounded by movement, because inertia - the reluctance of a car to change its speed and direction - becomes THE issue.
A lighter car requires less power, so the engine can be smaller, reducing weight. The lighter car requires less braking effort, so the discs and calipers can be smaller and lighter, and the critical un-sprung mass is reduced.
A light car, having less inertia can be made to turn faster, land lighter - and contrary to popular belief - made to crash better.
And so it goes on. Lightness begets lightness, just as weight ushers in more weight, for the reverse of the reasons above.
To get ‘light’, we made a smaller vehicle, we eliminated unnecessary components and we made the major component - the CORE chassis - serve multiple functions.
Traditionally the chassis on a racing car serves as a structure for mounting the major components - driver, engine and suspension. Onto the chassis is then attach a plethora of ancillary components such as bodywork, seat, dashboard, fuel tank etc, all held on by multiple gussets, braces and brackets. But once you attach all these parts and the associated brackets and fasteners, you add weight, complexity and more opportunities for mechanical failure.
If you accept that you are just going to attach a part to a chassis via a bracket, then you can skip the design phase completely. Engineering tolerances don’t need to be perfect. You have wiggle room, both literally and figuratively. But if you are going to eliminate these brackets and mount the components directly to the chassis, then the design phase is crucial and it’s critical to manufacture the CORE chassis with absolute precision.
The Space Frame
At the affordable end of the racing world, the space frame chassis is a cost effective design reality, and if well designed, will provide the driver with a very strong safety cell.
However there is a downside. The inside of the traditional fiberglass or aluminum skinned space frame presents a hostile impact environment to the driver in the form of exposed chassis tubes.
Put a compressible safety cell structure on the inside of an exoskeleton chassis. And that’s exactly what the Hyper Racer designers have done.
This breakthrough innovation combines the cost effectiveness of a space frame with the smooth driver friendly internal surfaces of a monocoque design.
The chrome moly chassis features curved main rails for added lateral impact strength and a unique cross brace in the middle of the chassis for immense crush resistance and torsional strength. And in the same way that crash helmet design protects the head, the Hyper Racers seat cell is lined with a ridged compressible foam seat insert. As added protection the seat cell and head restraint incorporate compressible crush pods at all strategic mounting points.
Combine this with the Hyper Racer’s other safety features. Lower body skid rails and intrusion plate, foot and leg protection, a six-point safety harness, an isolated fuel tank, a jointed collapsible steering column, an on-board fire extinguisher and a comprehensive head protection system comprising of front and rear roll bars designed to comply with racing regulations for cars weighing up to 4 times as much, longitudinal intrusion bars (or 'Henry' bars) that help protect the drivers head and ‘flip-up’ to aid driver extraction, and a rear and lateral head restraint enclosure.
It all adds up to built in safety never before seen at the affordable end of motor racing.
The devil is in the detail
They say the devil is in the detail, and so it is with the Hyper Racer. Hundreds of design hours were spent packaging the major components - driver, engine, wheels - into the smallest possible chassis package.
Each ancillary component was studied to determine whether it was required and then, if it was, how it related to the rest of the vehicle design. It was obvious that if the position and mounting of the ancillary components were designed in conjunction with the chassis, then weight could be saved in the elimination of unnecessary brackets, gussets, etc. To create the Hyper Racer, the design and engineering team have devised ways to eliminate most of these add on mounting or attachment devices.
Solving a design and engineering problem like this required more than an incremental change. It required a breakthrough design. The result is a simple and compact tubular chassis and safety cell. The result is also a work of 'tubular art'.
All the major and ancillary components on the Hyper Racer are mounted directly to the main chassis tubes, eliminating mounting brackets. The bodywork has been rationalized and minimized and mounts directly to the chassis tubes, and as it is non-structural, it is made feather light. The safety cell also does double duty as bodywork. In the weight culling process, some major components such as a differential were deemed, for a number of reasons, unnecessary and were eliminated from the design package.
So how ‘light’ can you make a real race car, with full-on safety features and big boys performance ?
All up weight without driver, ready to race.
PRO - 185kg.
TERRA - 240kg.
X1 - 350kg.
The world's lightest race cars.