An Indian all-terrain vehicle, courtesy Punjab engineering students

December 9th, 2008 - 11:04 am ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 9 (IANS) Three final-year mechanical engineering students here have taken the road less travelled by designing an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) named Ridge Ranger, which they plan to launch commercially.Although ATV is a new concept for the Indian automobile market, the three students and their project guide Sumeet Gill are confident of making a mark in the niche area.

The three students of Indo Global College of Engineering here are Abhimanyu Sharma, Ish Awasthi and Vishesh Sharma. The four-member team formally unveiled the Ridge Ranger last week in the college campus.

“It took us over 45 days to complete our first ATV. All our team members worked day and night to meet the deadline. Right now there is hardly any company in India that is manufacturing ATVs; so we are planning to launch it commercially very soon after making some required changes to it. We have also approached some sponsors,” Abhimanyu Sharma told IANS.

“We also got good backing from I.V. Rao, CEO (research and development), Maruti Suzuki, who encouraged us to launch this vehicle commercially during his recent visit to the college. He also assured us of all kinds of help to promote this venture,” said an upbeat Abhimanyu Sharma.

Indo Global College of Engineering is situated in Abhipur village of Mohali district, around 20 km from Chandigarh.

The two-seater Ridge Ranger cost Rs.53,000 to manufacture. The cost was partially borne by the both the college management and the students.

The ATV runs on a petrol engine and gives an average of 25 km per litre in tested conditions.

Now the immediate aim of the team is to produce another variant with a diesel engine and to work more on research and development to make the vehicle more fuel efficient, said Abhimanyu Sharma.

“The boys have done immense hard work to make their dream come true and I am impressed with their passionate and disciplined approach. I am very excited to see the final outcome that depicts the novelty and innovative ideas of future engineers,” said R. Panickar, director general of Indo Global colleges.

Said Ish Awasthi, a member of the team: “Keeping the commercial angle in mind, and to make it more feasible on both plains and rocky terrains, we have deliberately made it different from other ATVs.”

“Firstly, it is two-seater while normally we have only one-seater ATVs. Its engine is on the rear side, thereby giving better thrust to the front wheels that will maintain the balance of the vehicle and will help in running smoothly in the hills. Its capsule shape allows the driver and his companion to sit at ease inside the vehicle.”

Ridge Ranger is fitted with a 796 cc engine with a provision of hydraulic brakes and exhaust at a height of two feet from the ground.

There is an independent suspension on all the four wheels, which makes driving a comfortable experience.

“Earlier we were planning to manufacture an eco-friendly, fuel efficient car but dropped that idea as we wanted to do something challenging that no other student in this region has done so far,” said Vishesh Sharma, a member of the team.

“We have already tested Ridge Ranger in every condition, but now we are planning to take it on a long and rigorous mountain journey to test its mettle.”

Enthused with the initial response, these budding engineers are now planning to take their ATV at various other exhibitions and competitions worldwide in the coming days.

(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at alkesh.s@ians.in)

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