Palatov Motorsport Ultra-Lightweight AWD Platform


Our Modular Platform was designed and developed with the singular goal in mind – to facilitate the full and effective use of most possible power at the lowest possible weight and smallest possible size. With today's engine technology high power numbers are easily attainable. Top Pikes Peak competitors run in excess of 1,000 hp. However making effective use of the power, putting it to the ground without negating it with excess weight, is the challenge that has not been effectively met. Until now.

The Palatov designs are based on the concept of placing a lightweight drivetrain next to the driver, creating a very compact package that gives extreme mass centralization, perfect balance and lends itself very efficiently to AWD. At high power/weight ratios AWD is essential to making full use of the engine's potential. High-powered two-wheel-drive cars must use traction control under most conditions which works by reducing engine output and therefore not using all that is available.

The D1 and D4 demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. The D1 features 430hp normally aspirated and over 500hp turbocharged in an AWD chassis weighing under 1,100 lbs complete. The D4 uses motorcycle drivetrains ranging from 180hp normally aspirated to 300+hp turbocharged and weighs approximately 900 lbs in AWD configuration. Both chassis give the driver full control over engine power under a wide range of road conditions.

A key aspect of the Palatov vehicle architecture is modularity. The use of identical suspension at all four corners and the modular suspension assemblies that attach to the main chassis as a unit facilitate rapid service, minimize number of spares and leverage development across vehicles.

By placing both the driver and the drivetrain in the middle of the chassis the Palatov layout facilitates effective underbody aerodynamics within very short wheelbase and overall dimensions. This ensures that both low speed mechanical grip and high speed aero-assisted grip are optimized. The very low polar moment of inertia inherent in the design results in agility that cannot be matched by a larger, more conventional car.


Despite their small size and light weight, the Palatov designs offer a very high level of safety to the driver. They are founded on the proven concept of a survival cell - a strong structure around the driver protected from impact and intrusion, surrounded by collapsible crush zones.

The survival cell consists of a triangulated frame with fully braced rollover protection. The frame is constructed of aircraft grade 4130 chromoly seamless steel tubing and complies with racing regulations for cars weighing up to 3 times as much. For Pikes Peak extra rollcage structure will be added to comply with specific regulations.

Within the frame, the driver is further enclosed in a composite 'Pilot Pod' that keeps the driver's body contained completely within the survival cell. It extends traditional upper body protection to legs and feet as well. Shielding and advanced insulation outside the 'Pilot Pod' create a firewall.

pilot pod

Unique elbow pockets provide ample room for the driver to fasten and release his/her own belts without outside assistance. A 6-point FIA approved harness is standard and works with HANS devices. Within the 'Pilot Pod' the driver is cushioned and protected by a custom fitted BSS foam seat. Drivers of over 6'3" height and over 250 lbs are readily and safely accommodated despite the car's compact dimensions.

Outside the survival cell, components have been designed to provide progressively collapsible crush structures. The driver's feet are entirely behind the front wheels and suspension and the car has generous crush zones front, rear, and on the sides.

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