There’s much talk about the ‘transfer’ of technology from racing disciplines to the Average Family Car. Things developed in the heat of motorsport that help your ordinary road-going saloon. Such as an Audi A3.
This Schaeffler 4ePerformance concept is less of a ‘transfer’, more of a ‘steal-everything-from-motorsport-and-run-for-the-hills’. It is, in essence, an electric hypercar housed in the body of a really extraordinary road-going saloon.
The concept uses four electric motors from Schaeffler’s season two Formula E car (the championship-winning FE01), each motor producing 220kW and directly connected to individual wheels via a spur gear unit. Which means 880kW. This is a big number.
There are two motors that also share a gearbox housing for an electric twin axle, and the whole drivetrain is powered by a pair of batteries with a total capacity of 64kWh. Because the motors are individually mounted in the wheels, there’s torque vectoring.
There’s also a fairly alarming turn of speed. No top speed or 0-100kph time is quoted. Instead, the 0-200kph sprint is seen off in under seven seconds.
It’s all been packaged up inside the “steel body of a high-volume production vehicle” that looks awfully like an Audi A3 saloon – Audi took over Schaeffler’s Formula E entry from the beginning of this season. The idea was conceived last year by reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi and Schaeffler CEO Peter Gutzmer, in a bid to discover just how Formula E racing could work in regular volume production.
Works pretty well, if you ask us. “This vehicle is a test laboratory on wheels thanks to its free-scaling options for the drive power,” explains Schaeffler’s special projects motorsports director Simon Opel. “We are currently testing and developing our own driving dynamics control system, which is based on physical vehicle and wheel modelling,” he added.
Schaeffler reckons this 4ePerformance concept could also “be a supplement to volume-production drive concepts for electric high-performance sports cars”. Exciting stuff, huh?