How About a Nearly 1200-HP All-Electric Audi RS3?
Formula Whee: How About a Nearly 1200-HP All-Electric Audi RS3?
Powertrain tech from the electric racing series meets an Audi RS3. Mad zoom happens.
If you have yet to muster any enthusiasm for Formula E, maybe this will help: Using hardware from that race series, a German automotive supplier has created an Audi RS3 with nearly 1200 horsepower. The 4ePerformance concept was developed by Schaeffler, and it uses four Formula E traction motors—borrowed directly from Schaeffler’s Season 2 (2016–2017) world-champion Formula E car—each here delivering 295 horsepower for a total output of 1180 horsepower. The result is a claimed zero-to-124-mph time of less than seven seconds. That would make it far quicker than any Ludicrous-mode Tesla and on par with the fastest of the current breed of supercars. We would estimate a zero-to-60-mph time in the low 2s and a quarter-mile around 10 seconds flat.
Schaeffler designed the vehicle with the help of longtime partner ABT Sportsline. In front and in back, two motors are packaged together as what Schaeffler terms a twin axle. Within a unitized housing, each motor drives a single wheel through a spur-gear transmission. This allows for individual control of the power at each wheel for maximum, four-wheel torque vectoring. Schaeffler says that it’s currently developing its own driving-dynamics control system to optimize this capability and deal with the system’s power levels. Energy is stored in two different batteries rather than one large battery pack, totaling 64.0 kWh. The motor and gearbox together have a full-load efficiency of 95 percent.
While many internal-combustion-engine technologies have benefited from racing, Formula E is a bit different, as core powertrain tech can be installed directly into a street car without deal-breaking concerns about emissions or noise.
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The potential for this kind of technology transfer is partly why Formula E is thriving. Automakers and suppliers are spending vast amounts on the all-electric racing series and see it as a proving ground and showcase for technology under development as well as a test bed for new ideas. Whether you do or don’t enjoy watching Formula E, the series will leave an indelible mark on future electric vehicles—including how soon they’ll be seen as serious performance cars.
JUNE 7, 2018 AT 10:58 AM
BY BENGT HALVORSON
PHOTOS BY THE MANUFACTURER
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