TROY — Altair Engineering Inc., a provider of simulation technology and engineering services, says its product development division, Altair ProductDesign, has partnered with  the Taiwanese automotive design consultancy Studio X-Gene to develop a new electric concept vehicle.

Revealed for the first time at the Auto Shanghai 2011, the Avant GT is a pure electric sports grand tourer.

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The Avant GT is a project initiated by Studio X-Gene along with its partners, Delta Electronics, Wistron and Qisda, to demonstrate its domain knowledge and expertise by building an electric vehicle platform. Altair ProductDesign became involved in the project to lend its support to the engineering development of the vehicle. Altair was given responsibility for providing a simulation driven design approach for the vehicle’s crash, durability, vibration, vehicle dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics drag evaluation along with supporting Studio X-Gene during the architectural design phase.

Altair ProductDesign worked with Studio X-Gene to implement a comprehensive set of optimization techniques throughout the Avant GT’s development to ensure that the car remained as lightweight as possible, while meeting all structural and safety requirements.

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A minimum mass aluminium alloy body frame was developed as the basis for the concept car, and was combined with a range of carbon fiber components to keep weight down, and maximize performance and vehicle power range per charge. This dedication to a lightweight design resulted in the car weighing just 1,600 kg (3,500 pounds) when revealed at the Shanghai show, which is significantly lighter than most electric, battery-driven vehicles of the Avant GT’s size and specification.

“After all of Studio X-Gene’s and Altair’s excellent work on this project, it was a great sense of accomplishment to see the Avant GT on display at the Shanghai Auto Show,” said Richard Yen, vice president of Altair ProductDesign. “As concern about future fuel prices continues to rise, automotive OEMs and customers alike are exploring the advantages that electric vehicles offer. We are pleased to lend our automotive engineering and testing expertise to the development of a new generation of innovative passenger vehicles.”

Privately held, with more than 1,500 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Altair ProductDesign is a global, multi-disciplinary product development consultancy of more than 500 designers, engineers, scientists, and creative thinkers.

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