Automotive

The crazy organic details on Greece's 3,000-hp Project Chaos "ultracar"

The crazy organic details on G...
That horrifying alien-like growth is a brake caliper, folks, designed using a proprietary generative process Panopoulos calls "anadiaplasi"
That horrifying alien-like growth is a brake caliper, folks, designed using a proprietary generative process Panopoulos calls "anadiaplasi"
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Intricate "anadiaplasi" designs are 3D printed, in this case in titanium, and then finished to a gleaming shine
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Intricate "anadiaplasi" designs are 3D printed, in this case in titanium, and then finished to a gleaming shine
3D-printed titanium exhausts look amazing
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3D-printed titanium exhausts look amazing
Carbon bodywork appears to include floating wings coming down the back
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Carbon bodywork appears to include floating wings coming down the back
Pistons are printed in an extreme-strength ceramic material with incredible resistance to thermal expansion, allowing near-zero tolerances in the design of the engine
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Pistons are printed in an extreme-strength ceramic material with incredible resistance to thermal expansion, allowing near-zero tolerances in the design of the engine
Outrageous carbon conrods and ceramic pistons will allow Project Chaos to rev to 12,000 rpm and develop a horrifying 3,000 horsepower
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Outrageous carbon conrods and ceramic pistons will allow Project Chaos to rev to 12,000 rpm and develop a horrifying 3,000 horsepower
Intricate taillight designs
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Intricate taillight designs
That's a decent sized turbo, eh? This Mitsubishi Evo now makes upwards of 2,800 horsepower for drag racing
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That's a decent sized turbo, eh? This Mitsubishi Evo now makes upwards of 2,800 horsepower for drag racing
That horrifying alien-like growth is a brake caliper, folks, designed using a proprietary generative process Panopoulos calls "anadiaplasi"
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That horrifying alien-like growth is a brake caliper, folks, designed using a proprietary generative process Panopoulos calls "anadiaplasi"
The clearest picture we've got of the full car design
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The clearest picture we've got of the full car design
The 42-year old motorsports genius Spyros Panopoulos himself
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The 42-year old motorsports genius Spyros Panopoulos himself
Panopoulos will unveil Project Chaos at next year's Geneva Motor Show
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Panopoulos was ready to unveil Project Chaos at this year's Geneva Motor Show, but has postponed the launch
Where most brake calipers are large and bulky, Panopoulos has created designs that use material only where they need to, exposing the disc to greater airflow and vastly reducing component weight without affecting strength or performance
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Where most brake calipers are large and bulky, Panopoulos has created designs that use material only where they need to, exposing the disc to greater airflow and vastly reducing component weight without affecting strength or performance
The alien, organic shapes of the "anadiaplasi" process. This is a close-up on the brake caliper design
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The alien, organic shapes of the "anadiaplasi" process. This is a close-up on the brake caliper design
View gallery - 13 images

Extreme hypercars have come at us thick and fast in the last couple of years, but none more extreme than this. Greek drag racing tuner Spyros Panopoulos – and surely there can be no more Greek a name than that – is preparing to launch a combustion car so ludicrously overpowered that he feels it belongs in a whole new category above hypercars and megacars: the lone ultracar.

Named "Project Chaos," and with good reason, it will come in two versions. Both use a 4-liter V10 engine, designed and milled out of billet aluminum in-house, featuring 20 injectors, 40 valves, titanium camshafts, titanium/inconel valves and massive twin turbochargers made from carbon and titanium, with ceramic compound turbine wheels.

One will use pistons and rods 3D printed out of titanium, revving to a stratospheric 11,000 rpm and delivering 2,000 horsepower, which would instantly propel it to equal-first place on our list of the world's most powerful production cars alongside the ludicrous Lotus Evija. But where the Evija's 2,000 horses are produced electrically and sent to the wheels via a single-speed transmission, the Chaos will get the job done with a much more complex combustion system and give you a dual-clutch gearbox with eight different ratios to play with. Terrifying stuff.

Panopoulos will unveil Project Chaos at next year's Geneva Motor Show
Panopoulos was ready to unveil Project Chaos at this year's Geneva Motor Show, but has postponed the launch

The second version will take things into unexplored reaches of the stratosphere, revving to 12,000 rpm, making it the second highest-revving production engine ever, just 100 rpm behind the monster of a thing Cosworth is building for the new Gordon Murray T.50.

This one will have conrods shaped in carbon fiber, and pistons 3D printed in a ceramic compound previously used as exterior tiling on space shuttles due to its extraordinary strength, light weight, hardness, and almost total resistance to thermal expansion.

This version will top out at no less than 3,000 horsepower, leapfrogging the most powerful cars ever produced by a cool 50-percent margin. We cast an eye down the spec sheet to see exactly which company's tires are expected to cope with three thousand ponies through an 8-speed box, but none has been nominated. We imagine Pirelli and Michelin executives are doing their best to hide from Spyros and his modest nine-man team when they call.

Outrageous carbon conrods and ceramic pistons will allow Project Chaos to rev to 12,000 rpm and develop a horrifying 3,000 horsepower
Outrageous carbon conrods and ceramic pistons will allow Project Chaos to rev to 12,000 rpm and develop a horrifying 3,000 horsepower

Panopoulos has considerable form when it comes to monster performance – he and his team have been making extreme racing conrods, titanium valves, beryllium valve seats, turbo compressor wheels, engine blocks, flywheels, and complete engines as far back as 1997.

By 2008, he'd dyno-tested a 1.8-liter Mitsubishi Evolution engine at 2,145 hp and 12,800 rpm, and by 2017 he had that 4WD Evo up to 2,880 hp and 14,100 rpm, a world record for horsepower per liter. That car ran a record 7.9 seconds on the quarter mile in Abu Dhabi last year – despite a rumored timing chain break a little over halfway down the track that stopped the car achieving the six-second time it was aiming for.

That's a decent sized turbo, eh? This Mitsubishi Evo now makes upwards of 2,800 horsepower for drag racing
That's a decent sized turbo, eh? This Mitsubishi Evo now makes upwards of 2,800 horsepower for drag racing

In the racing world, he's worked with MotoGP, WRC, BTCC, Hill Climb, Dragster and Rally Cross teams, as well as developing electronics and control systems for Formula One teams. This is the CV of a man that gets things done on an absolutely epic level.

In more recent years, he's been getting seriously into next-level materials, additive manufacture, and what appears to be his own proprietary brand of generative, or evolutionary design. We've reached out to the company for more information on what it calls the "anadiaplasi" process, in which a component "forms its own form according to the forces exerted on it."

Generative design, as we've explored before, is a process in which a component's fixed points, stress loadings, materials and desired performance characteristics are placed into a CAD model, and then sent to a cloud processing service where they are randomly mutated over thousands, or even millions of generations in a process designed to emulate natural selection.

The better-performing designs are allowed to multiply and evolve while the worse ones die off, and eventually, complex but effective shapes emerge that could never have been designed by hand. They typically offer extreme strength, incredible lightweighting, and minimal use of materials in a manufacturing process that can only be achieved with 3D printing due to their strange, organic-looking forms.

The alien, organic shapes of the "anadiaplasi" process. This is a close-up on the brake caliper design
The alien, organic shapes of the "anadiaplasi" process. This is a close-up on the brake caliper design

Panopoulos's anadiaplasi-generated components – which include everything from those extraordinary pistons and conrods to entire wheels and brake calipers – have a similarly skeletal, organic look to them, but feature some interesting twisting tendril shapes we haven't seen before, so we're very interested in learning more about how it's done.

The brake calipers alone look like something out of a Venom comic, a frankly sinister series of thin, vine-like forms wrapping around the disc and supporting the piston chambers. Forget your chunky monoblocs, this is next-level stuff, and it looks like you could easily lift them with your little finger.

It's this kind of extreme lightweighting (the team is aiming for a total car less than 1,150 kg, or 2,535 lb), that Panopoulos believes may allow him to offer the first production car making more than two horsepower for every kilogram of its weight, a power-to-weight ratio he believes will result in acceleration forces up to 3 g where conditions and adhesion allow. That's well in excess of Formula One, or indeed anything outside the pointy end of the drag racing world.

In an interview with Greek media, Panopoulos states the car will be aerodynamically ready for speeds above 500 km/h (310 mph), putting it in contention for the title of world's fastest car, and "theoretically" the acceleration should take you to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 2 seconds, and up to 400 km/h (248 mph) in around 7 seconds, if you can get your head around that idea.

Carbon bodywork appears to include floating wings coming down the back
Carbon bodywork appears to include floating wings coming down the back

We've only been able to see little glimpses of the car's final form; Panopoulos wants to launch it properly at the 2021 Geneva Motor Show. What we can see, though, looks pretty damn out there with its intricate LED brake light arrays, 3D-printed titanium exhausts and carbon bodywork reaching back from the roof to form a pair of folded wing-like shapes reminiscent of the back end of the Pininfarina Battista.

One other thing we do know, though, is that Project Chaos will rock a monocoque chassis made from Zylon, a thermoset liquid-crystalline polyoxazole material 1.6 times stronger than Kevlar that has been used in bulletproof body armor, anti-penetration cockpit protection for Formula One, racing yachts, SpaceX parachutes, tennis racquets, snowboards and bits of some of NASA's Martian rover vehicles. Ten times more expensive than carbon fiber, this is another interesting choice we're hoping we can discuss with Panopoulos or his team.

Project Chaos will doubtless be yet another squillion-dollar plaything for the uber-rich. We'll be lucky if we ever see one unleashed in anger and pushed to even a small percentage of its potential. But it's one of the most technologically progressive machines we've ever seen – with a full combustion engine, no less – and we're waiting with bated breath on a full reveal or the opportunity to learn more. Wild stuff, we'll take two in black thanks.

Source: Spyros Panopoulos Automotive

View gallery - 13 images
17 comments
Jose Gros
Yeah! 3'000 HP in an street car is horrifying, as efficiency of Internal Combusiton Engines falls to shit below 25-30% of full load; in a flat highway, at the 'legal' speed, little more than 20-30 HP is used for this size of car. Calculations are up to the reader, but besides the appeal for some purchasers, a Dragster's power engine inside a common car is wastefulness, I challenge any owner of this type of car to have more than 44% of available power running. Blessings +
JimFox
Wish he'd put his obvious genius int5o development of EV's & batteries!
Really, the ICE is dying fast, this thing is a waste of his talent.
paul314
All of the lightweighting stuff could be used for a real vehicle, with serious implications for mileage or EV range. (It's a virtuous psiral, because the less deadweight you have, the less suspension/brakes/motors/transmission/etc you need to start and stop it, and the less weight of those components ditto, plus smaller components can enable a smaller body...)
BlueOak
What a let down - just another traditional 4-valve turbo motor. Versus the email tease saying “3000 HP combustion” rather than the more accurate “internal combustion” as it disappointingly turns out.
Gizzy Magpie
ICE muscle car? Is this guy living in the 1990s?
Signguy
This reminds me about the story of a Champion weightlifter who went to Africa, and when talking to the chief of a local tribe was asked, "so what do you do?" and the man then showed him his poses and how his muscles looked, to which the chief replied "that's it, that's what you do? What's the point?"
buzzclick
When are you numbchucks gonna realize that these are wheels that breathe with a throttle and scream like a banshee using the latest tech to reach speed and performance figures that break boundaries. There will be many more new electric hypercars to drool over. Get over it. Don't just poo-poo it because it doesn't have a battery and electric motors. Spiros Panapoulos is coming from a background literally unheard of in Greece, like Koenigsegg in Sweden. In this crazy Corona climate, he was wise not to release this car in Geneva and wait for better timing. His concept is so outrageous and full of adrenalin that flows in the blood and dreams of youthful enthusiasm.
aksdad
"We imagine Pirelli and Michelin executives are doing their best to hide from Spyros and his modest nine-man team when they call." Another entertaining article by Loz Blain. Now where do I get one? More importantly, suggestions on how to improve my financial outlook so I can afford one. And where I can unleash it to enjoy 3g acceleration and 300+ mph.
christopher
The generative-design features in Fusion 360 are free all this month and next, for anyone wanting to try that out themselves.
Jim E
HR Giger would approve.