INSPIRED BY KIWI INNOVATION
EKanoo racing's world record-breaking Porsche 911 Turbo tuned by ESMotor. It did the 1/4 mile in 8.99 sec at 160mph using a Dodson Motorsport PDK clutch.
For the average person a car is an object, a mode of transport, something to be used, admired but not modified. For motor enthusiasts (a unique subset of society) - a car is more like a child, something to be developed, a passion, a project, a piece of ‘you’ the owner.
Much like how parents will spend thousands of dollars to fulfill their child's potential, the multi-million dollar aftermarket car modification industry is based on a simple question, "How can we make it better?”
Dodson Motorsport has established itself as a world leader in the production of dual clutch transmission systems by providing answers to that very question.
Based in Auckland’s Grow North Innovation District in Wairau Valley on the North Shore, Dodson Motorsport was founded in 2000 by automotive engineer Glenn Cupit and Harry Dodson of Dodson Autospares.
Having built a name for themselves in motorsport tuning, fabrication and development, the company now offers a wide range of transmission upgrades for high performance and high-end vehicles.
The company is now one of New Zealand’s top exporters. With a global network of over 200 dealers in 50 countries, enthusiasts can access performance parts worldwide.
Dodson’s patented components are renowned for handling higher horsepower and torque, reducing heat, and improving grip and reliability.
“As the car manufacturers rolled out dual clutches more than ten years ago, Dodson found unique ways to redesign and modify the transmission," says Dodson Motorsport General Manager, Steven Parker.
“We concentrated on high strength and high performance and developed a niche market. We were not driven by reducing cost but providing the best possible outcome.”
One may wonder how you improve on parts that have been meticulously designed by large car companies? Where do you begin to redesign and upgrade?
When designing aftermarket parts, Dodson engineers start by focusing on the weakest points and providing strengthening to withstand higher loads.
Through careful analysis, designers can modify the structure and select manufacturing processes and materials to cope with high performance loads.
Products are prototyped and then undergo meticulous testing before being released to the market. The end result is that car owners can push their vehicles to the limits and utilise the extra power developed from aftermarket modifications.
To promote their products, Dodson sponsors some of the fastest cars in the world including the fastest BMW FX8, Porshce PDK, Nissan GT-R and MK7 VW Golf drag racing cars.
Their products are regularly tested in track and time trial racing environments as well, to ensure reliability and durability.
Dodson’s accolades and achievements are growing.
In their quest to further develop manufacturing technologies, the company has partnered with Auckland University of Technology’s Faculty of Engineering to develop advanced induction hardening methods for complex steel parts.
Dodson has been awarded a three to five year Callaghan Growth Grant for Research and Development. It’s recently been named a Finalist in Westpac Business Awards 2016 and 2017 – International Trade. The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has also provided backing recently to promote Dodson in the 2017 PRI (Performance Racing Industry) trade show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Where to next
Having upgraded the clutch systems on a range of high performance vehicles including Nissan, Mitsubishi, VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Lamborghini, Parker is confident about the company’s future;
“We are releasing more products, we have a design pipeline running for the next five years and we are diversifying into other brands of vehicles and new markets.”
In the race to push limits in performance and innovation, Dodson Motorsport is only just gearing up.
Grow North articles are written by those who work closely with businesses, incubators, accelerators, academics, investors and business interest groups within the Auckland North Innovation Corridor.
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