Czinger 21C is the world’s first car to adopt 3D printing technology. How the technology can be introduced in the auto industry at large? How can it benefit the Indian auto industry?
Hypercars are something super sensational for automobile enthusiasts. Hearing about a hypercar what comes to mind first is the depiction of a super sexy vehicle with a flawless design with a supreme level of aerodynamics, gnarly exhaust sounds, a whopping amount of horsepower churned out by a massive V8 motor under the hood, a wide range of advanced technology onboard. Nobody talks about mileage here, but about top speed and 0-100 kmph timing.
While the world was talking about Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Koenigsegg, Pagani, Bugatti, etc, some companies silently emerged in the world of hypercars to stun us. One such company is Czinger, based in Los Angeles, California, USA. Founded by Kevin Czinger in 2019 Czinger Vehicles Inc. into the business of producing niche sports cars.
The first vehicle developed and constructed by Czinger was the 21C.
The Czinger 21C hypercar and the company itself were about to make their presence public in early 2020 at the Geneva Motor Show. However, the auto show was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Eventually, Czinger Vehicles along with the 21C coupe took place in March 2020 in London. The manufacturer has announced that only 80 units of the car will be built.
The most interesting fact about Czinger 21C is that it is the first car in the world to be built with 3D printing technology, a never before in the auto industry. The company also aims to revolutionise the auto industry with 3D printing.
Autofintechs spoke to Kevin Czinger, CEO and Founder of Czinger Vehicles Inc and Divergent Technologies to discuss the implementation of 3D printing technology in the auto industry, and of course if there is a chance to see the 21C on Indian roads.
Q. How can 3D printing be implemented in mass-market vehicle production, without affecting the price much?
What we do is not based on commercially available technology. We have invented and built an end-to-end digital production system that is capable of designing, printing, and assembling vehicle structures at cost parity or better, to existing manufacturing technologies.
That system, the Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS™️), is now being used to provide frame and suspension structures to vehicle brands within 2 of the top 5 global auto manufacturers.
The first of our production programs will be delivering vehicles with DAPS designed, printed, and assembled structures at the end of this year, 2021. We plan to scale by expanding the vehicle brands and models we serve within those 2 global auto manufacturers and adding additional auto manufacturing groups, as well as expanding to other industries.
Q. How does a technology like 3D printing help a car manufacturer?
Car manufactures have a huge Achilles heel because they were designed around an early 20th Century mass production system. They built leviathan-scale factories that stamped out the same cookie-cutter models. That enabled huge scale and scope for production of the same good, but were design inflexible and couldn’t quickly respond to changes in the market or innovation.
If you didn’t sell the capacity of that plant, it lost huge amounts of money. Which is why nation-states have had to bail out the auto industry constantly as demand for vehicles fluctuated with the economic cycle. It is an approach that worked okay at a time when America’s three auto manufacturers controlled over 70% of the global market. But that’s completely and permanently changed.
Building design inflexible factories with long product cycles simply don’t work today. Economically and ecologically it’s a disaster and people are now understanding the hidden costs of all of this mining and mass consumption of materials and energy to build heavy, inefficient vehicles that use too much energy and then are disposed of in a never-ending single direction pathway of resource exploitation and waste.
|Drivetrain||2.88L flat-plane crank V8, twin electric motors|
|Maximum Power||1,250 PS @ 11,000 rpm|
|0-96 kmph||1.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||431 kmph|
DAPS™️ enables a car company to generate a design, print it, and assemble it in a much shorter product cycle. We can literally take a 6-to-12 month process down to less than a week, thereby increasing the speed of product development and innovation at a much lower price. Also, our system is design agnostic – it can seamlessly switch between building a car, a plane, or a drone. It simply processes the incoming computationally engineered data and materializes and assembles the custom optimized structures for the specific application desired.
This completely changes the product cycle and the amount of capital required, as well as the risk to that capital, because it enables switching from one model or vehicle type to another dynamically using the same assets. The structure itself is much higher performing, requiring less mass and energy, which is much more sustainable, as you can also use materials that can be re-atomized and redesigned, and reprinted in a closed-loop, for a truly circular economy.
The biggest challenge is educating an industry that has operated essentially the same for a century and proving there is now a better way. But it’s inevitable that the industry will change from analog to digital, it’s just a matter of who gets there first.
Q. 3D printing has been a widely discussed subject in the modern car design and manufacturing process. With Czinger mastering the technology, what’s the way ahead for the company in terms of introducing more vehicles using this technology?
Over time, we plan to introduce a diverse group of green ultra-performance vehicles based on our Czinger 21C design language and DAPS™️ production technology – everything from hypercars to GT coupes to radical off-road vehicles.
Q. For Czinger, how 2021 has been so far in terms of sales, model launch strategy, operational activities, especially in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic?
DAPS enables rapid innovation. When we saw COVID shut down the planet and we couldn’t get out in front of customers, we started working through all of the next-gen options for the 21C. Our technology enables ONLY us to do this in this quick of a product cycle, so in the last few months, we were able to create the next-generation of the Czinger production vehicle.
We’re super excited in 2021 to show the market, customers, and media what we’ve been able to achieve on the track. It’s incredibly special.
Q. How do you see the year 2021 for the hypercar, supercar industry?
I won’t speculate on the industry, but I will tell you what I see for Czinger hypercars. For 2021 we are super excited, we advanced our vehicle design again during 2020 and we have an even better production vehicle that we are going to reveal. It shows what our technology can do in accelerating innovation and creativity.
Also, we’re able to run the car on e-fuel (carbon recycled methanol) and from a life-cycle standpoint that is even cleaner than an EV powertrain. Having a green hyper performance car, I think is super cool and that’s what we’re going to reveal in 2021.
Q. Does India fit in Czinger’s expansion strategy?
How could it not? India is one of the world’s major industrial and technology countries with an amazing pool of human talent. It has a need for e-fuel cars and EV cars. The technologies and tools we have and the products we have can be of enormous benefit to India.
We have the tools and capacity to do things in a sustainable way, where that great country can translate all of its human energy and ideas into real sustainable products, sustainable transportation, and sustainable power generation.
Q. CASE has been disrupting the overall auto industry across the world. How do these megatrends impact the hypercar, supercar industry?
It’s everywhere. Computational power is changing everything worldwide, it’s making everything into software and data-driven businesses.
Q. What are the top 5 hypercars of your choice?
Of course, my all-time favorite car is the Czinger 21C, but my next top 5 are Ford GT40, Ferrari F40, McLaren F1, 1957 Ferrari 250 TR, Mercedes W196R.
Also Read: Safety is Tata Motors’ highest priority for car design: Pratap Bose