Deakin’s orange appeal
Students have created a Model T vision, writes NEIL McDONALD
IT MAY only be a concept but this burntorange three-wheeler helped put students at Deakin University on the world stage. The students shared the rewards in a global contest to design the next-generation 2015 Model T Ford.
The Deakin students’ car, named T2, for T-Squared, was part of Ford’s 100th anniversary celebrations to commemorate the original Model T. Teams at Aachen University in Germany and Melbourne’s Deakin earned their schools $30,000 in scholarship funds with their designs.
Deakin was one of only six universities to be invited to take part . The university’s project leader, Dr Bernard Rolfe, says: ‘‘We’ve been involved with Ford Australia for the past 10 years so when the opportunity came to design the car we jumped at it.
‘‘The students have done a great job.’’
The 21st century concept had to share the original Model T’s attributes of simplicity but it also had to be lightweight, practical, compelling and cheap.
Rolfe says all these requirements were met. The T2 was designed to be simple to build and light, yet durable.
The three-wheeler runs on compressed air and will turn 360 degrees on itself, making inner-city parking easy. It uses high-strength lightweight steel for safety and the convention-