ITH - Rivage
The head of model-maker ITH and Professor Kelly of Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Automotive Styling and Design had a brilliant idea in the spring of 2002: They were certain that the design study of a sports car could be turned into a real-life vehicle that would drive like any other car without anyone noticing that it was a prototype. And it could all be done in only 6 or 7 months.
The reason for their certainly was that they either possessed all the necessary skills, methods and hightech components themselves or knew partners who could supply them: GOM and Tebis. Both companies were soon on board. All four firms became project partners, assuring one another that each would contribute the best they had to offer to turn the vision into reality, with the goal of presenting the prototype at Euromold 2002.
The project got underway by April. Stylists and model-makers, 3D metrologists and CAD/CAM experts spent the next seven months combining the expertise of their various disciplines in an atmosphere of flexible, non-hierarchical cooperation. As an added benefit, all parties involved were able to learn a great deal from each other.
Porsche, Ferrari, Rivage?
It was one of our most ambitious projects, was realized in just 7 months and is still causing a furore in the branch: the Rivage - a spectacular sports car model that was shown to the public for the first time on 4th of December 2002 during the EUROmold in Frankfurt.
Quality and functionality
It is sports car study, show car, data control model and concept car all in one. In several steps during the development initially two different 1:4-models and finally the 1:1-show model were manufactured.
The target: The competence project should combine highest quality with functionality.
The development - a showcase
The skeleton plan of the designer Prof. James Kelly was followed by the technical conversion. With the aid of the companies GOM and Tebis a 1:4-model was constructed. By and by different experts concentrated this concept, optimised it and built it then in the original size. All shell-and structure-parts were manufactured with our special sandwich-laminate-procedure. The critical impact on the functional quality of the car, the visual impression of its shell as well as the manufacturing pace was the last phase, which started with the digitalization of the 1:1-show model. Every single model part for the production of the bodyparts had to be constructed and manufactured by our CAD/CAM-operators. In plain language this means: Seven months of precision work at the highest technical level.
From 0 onto the road in just 7 months
From the first skeleton plan to the roadworthy prototype in just seven months - this is not the only remarkable fact about the Rivage. The result in its stability and functionality can hardly be distinguished from a series-car. Even where speed is concerned it does not rank behind many other sports car models. On its maiden trip on the Hockenheimring it ran faster than 200 km/h. The former German ski jumper Sven Hannawald already lapped enthusiastically in this unicum. Highest possible design constancy, functionality and an extremely short development timeframe at comparatively low cost - the Rivage still stands for this.