Schaeffler has transferred technology developed for the Formula E into a close-to-series electric car. Their 4ePerformance concept based on the Audi RS3 chassis includes 4 drives with 220 kWh each that previously powered Abt’s FE winning racer.
It was Lucas di Grassi who benefitted from Schaeffler’s drive first, as he won the Formula E season 2016/17 before the racing team was taken over by Audi. Hence use of an Audi RS3 that now hosts that same system to form the Schaeffler 4ePerformance concept vehicle and the press release says it was part Grassi’s idea, to show that motorsport can become more serious.
The total output of 880 kW push the EV from 0 to 200 kph in less than 7 seconds. Power is held in two batteries with a combined 64 kWh. Each of the four motors is directly connected to a wheel by means of a spur gear unit, while two motors share one gearbox housing and thereby form an electric twin axle. This architecture enables four-wheel torque vectoring.
Whilst the high-powered concept utilises the architecture of a high-volume production vehicle, there are no concrete production plans, at least not in that form. Instead, the electric vehicle serves Schaeffler as testing ground for driving dynamics. Says Simon Opel, Director Special Projects Motorsports at Schaeffler: “For Schaeffler, this vehicle is a test laboratory on wheels thanks to its free scaling options for the drive power. We are currently testing and developing our own driving dynamics control system, which is based on physical vehicle and wheel modeling. We have been learning a lot especially in the area of software-based driving dynamics control systems.”
Still, Schaeffler is interested in serial application of course and the 4ePerformance could be a supplement to volume-production drive concepts for electric sports cars in future. This is also true for the electric technology Schaeffler is developing such as 48V and high-voltage hybrid systems, as well as fully electric powertrains.
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