Palatov Motorports is a specialty car manufacturer that designs and produces high-performance cars that are primarily used on recreational tracks across the country. The Portland, OR-based manufacturer has built a business around not only designing cars but also designing and supplying components, such as suspension parts, for custom car applications, ranging from individual builds to low- and medium-volume specialty vehicles.
Prior to founding the company, Dennis Palotov evaluated several design solutions before choosing SOLIDWORKS because he found it very intuitive to use and didn’t require an expensive workstation to run it. “The software is very intuitive—it behaves the way my brain works—and allows me to productively transfer the ideas in my head into reality,” says Palotov. “I design complete cars, featuring tight tolerances, from scratch by myself, and we assemble the cars with a team of four. Most specialty cars are developed by teams of 20 to 30 people or more. We would not be able to do what we do at Palatov Motorsport without SOLIDWORKS.”
SOLIDWORKS helps Palatov cars go with the Flow
Another advantage of SOLIDWORKS was its integrated Flow Simulation software, which enabled the design team to gain important insights into how airflow, drag, and downforce affect car performance. By validating its vehicle designs using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, the designers were able to not only improve the aerodynamics of the cars, but also to adjust aerodynamic elements to match specific driver preferences.
For example, the firm used SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation during development of the D1PPS (Pike’s Peak Special), which was specifically designed to compete in the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb (IHC), a 12.42-mile race up 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak in Colorado that has 156 turns. “We ran flow analysis on the D1PPS using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software and then compared the results to real-life data obtained through physical tests,” Palatov explains. “We found a 98 percent correlation between SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation results and what actually happens, which gave us the confidence to rely on the software to improve aerodynamic performance. We still maintain 400 pounds of downforce on that car at 100 mph, but used the results to optimize front/rear distribution of force and allow for aerodynamic adjustments.”
Read the entire case study “Palatov Motorsport LLC: Advancing High-Performance Automobile Development with SOLIDWORKS Solutions” to learn how SOLIDWORKS solutions played a key role in the development of an innovative, patent-pending suspension design, which completely eliminates the need for antiroll bars and aero-assist third spring, while also improving handling.