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Joss SuperCar Review

May 2005
Filed under: JOSS Car News | JOSS Headlines
The JOSS Super Car truly deserves to rank highly amongst the world’s super cars. It has leading edge aerodynamic design in its 2-seater body, a suspension system that uses
the superior downforce from its underbody powered by JOSS 6.8-litre V8 engine.

Performance is the hallmark of a super car and the JOSS delivers the sort of performance expected from such a car. With first test being 0-100km/h acceleration in 3.7 seconds and a quarter mile of 11.9 seconds, it ranks with the best from the major European manufacturers. But the expected figures shall be 0-100km/h in 3 seconds flat, quarter mile of less than 11 seconds and a top speed of 320km/h.

Designed and developed by Matt Thomas and his team in Australia, the JOSS Super Car is the result of his years of experience in aerodynamic development with Formula One and Formula 3 race cars. The philosophy behind the JOSS design is to create a body that uses the airflow both over and under the car to provide second-to-none handling and roadholding yet still provide a comfortable, supple ride. This is achieved through a frontal area that is a mere 1.8 square metres to reduce the air drag coefficient at high speed and a full underbody ‘ground effect’ floor incorporating both a front splitter and a rear high gradient diffuser.

Titanium skid plates are also used to direct underbody air flow. The low frontal area uses a cutting edge design in the frontal ducting system. This innovative design feature not only provides a higher rate of brake cooling but also generates additional downforce. Utilising the ground effects underbody allowed the designer to style the exterior of the JOSS for clean movementthrough the air as well as being visually attractive.

The doors have vortex generators incorporated into their lower edges – another feature that increases the downforce. The mid-mounted, electronic fuel-injected, 6.8-litre (415 cubic inch) all-alloy V8 engine was designed and developed in Melbourne and is exclusive to the JOSS. With an oversquare configuration of 4.125” bore and 3.75” stroke it delivers 350kW 500bhp at 5,750rpm and a massive torque figure of 650Nm 480lb/ft at 2,800rpm.

The engine block is aluminium fitted with high nickel iron dry sleeves. Heads are all aluminium with two overhead valves per cylinder and extruded alloy roller rocker arms. The intake is tunnel ram design, the top plenum has dual 58mm Billet alloy throttle bodies. Fuel is delivered by a Bosch EFT electric fuel pump. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a Porsche G50, 5-speed manual gearbox and a triple plate clutch.

The aerodynamic body is built up using composite carbon fibre, kevlar, GRP and honeycomb. The space-frame chassis is constructed of composite aluminium and honeycomb steel. The overall weight of the JOSS Super Car is a mere 940kg giving a power to weight ratio of 2.68kg/kW.

On the wall of Matt Thomas’ design office is saying that sums up this beautiful car. “JOSS is a blend of poetic beauty with a clash of automotive brutality” During the timeMatt Thomas spent in Europe developing other people’s designs, Matt had a dream of building his own sports car. He began sketching that dream and produced a large number of renderings gradually refining each one until he felt he had the perfect design. He knew that building a complete chassis from scratch was not going to be within his capabilities or budget so he arranged to purchase a space frame chassis and have it sent to Australia.

In his well-equipped workshop in an industrial estate in Warragul, Victoria, he set about converting his sketches into a full-size clay model that would become the body of the
JOSS Super Car. With his considerable experience at automotive modelling he was able to finish the first complete model in less than 30 months. With the full scale model he was able to develop the innovative aerodynamics that would provide the JOSS Super Car with its exceptional downforce. The development of the low Cd frontal area, miniscule camera rear view mirrors, the uniquely-hinged doors, the full ground effects undertray and the vortex generators in the doors were gradually worked into the original clay.

After the full size clay exterior was complete to Matt’s satisfaction and a mould was taken and the composite skin of the first body was produced in less than three months.
During the body build, work was continuing with the fitting of the Melbourne-developed all-alloy V8 engine and transmission into the chassis, developing and installing the suspension and planning the wiring harness, cockpit instruments and layout and developing the intricate exhaust system that was to become a feature talking point of the car. Prior to fitting the completed body the engine was fired up in the chassis to ensure that clearances were correct and that all the components fitted neatly under the sleek body.

The body was then fitted and the dream started to take shape – and a beautiful shape it was! With just six weeks before the launch date the hundred and one items that required fitting and refitting, checking and re-checking were completed and the JOSS Super Car rolled out of the factory for its first shake-down drive. From a sketched rendering to a complete car had taken six years.

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