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Case Studies

Blade Antennas for Prodrive's Subaru Impreza World Rally Car

Prodrive is one of the world's leading motorsport and automotive groups. It runs a series of high-profile programmes around the world, including the Ferrari 550 GTS programme in the Le Mans 24 Hours and American Le Mans Series, and Ford Performance Racing in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Using the latest technology, Prodrive designs and develops competitive race and rally cars, and also works with automotive manufacturers to create cars for consumers.

Prodrive manages the Subaru World Rally Team, in the World Rally Championship, and has done so since 1989, when it was approached by Subaru to promote the technology of their vehicles through rallying. The Subaru Impreza WRC2004, used throughout the 2004 championship series, features a new engine with increased power and torque, a semi-automatic transmission, stiffer chassis and new aerodynamics for improved stability at high speeds.

Prodrive's reputation and skill in automotive technology is reflected in its success, and its engineers continually research for new and better methods of improving vehicles and their performance, down to the smallest detail.

In 2004, Chelton (at that time known as European Antennas) was commissioned by Prodrive to design and develop a new wireless LAN blade antenna, to be mounted on the roof of the race car, for transmission of telemetry data between car and laptop-based terminal, at designated stages of rallies, in the World Rally Championship.

Cobham 1173 Blade AntennaThis blade antenna (product reference SBA-2450-2400-RG316/1173) is a rugged, printed-circuit dipole, based on a composite material, measuring 75 mm x 25 mm, and only 2.4 mm thick. It offers gain of 2dBi, vertical polarisation and a frequency range of 2.4 to 2.5GHz. The antenna needed to be rugged but extremely aerodynamic and light in weight, to offer minimum drag and zero impact on performance and handling.

These antennas weigh just 11 grams each, achieved in part by our use of a nylon mount designed by Prodrive, which provided a weight-saving of 43% per antenna.


Subaru World Rally Team – After 19 years, 2008 marked the end of SWRT's activity as a works' team in the World Rally Championship. 

Contact us direct for more information: newmarket.sales@chelton.com, or telephone +44 (0)1638 732177.