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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Volkswagen developing electric racer for Pikes Peak 2018

October 19, 2017

After an absence from the event of more than 30 years, Volkswagen is developing an all-electric race car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on 24 June 2018. The all-wheel-drive prototype’s goal is to set a new record for electric cars at the finish line, 14,000 feet above sea level.

The vehicle is being developed by Volkswagen Motorsport in close cooperation with Technical Development in Wolfsburg. The new motorsport project is part of Volkswagen’s process of transforming itself into the leading producer of electric vehicles. By 2025, the Volkswagen brand will offer 23 all-electric models.

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Audi unveils its first all-electric racer for Formula E; new powertrain from Audi/Schaeffler

September 28, 2017

In Neuberg, Germany, Audi presented the Group’s first all-electric race car: the Audi e-tron FE04 for the Formula E series.

In Formula E, the teams and manufacturers are allowed to develop the powertrain consisting of the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. The combination of the motor and transmission is the centerpiece of the Audi e-tron FE04. The engineers primarily focused on designing the motor-generator unit (MGU) for greater efficiency. To transmit the power to the wheels, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear in the 2017/2018 season.

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Mercedes-AMG Project One PHEV with F1 technology debuts at IAA; 750 kW, 800V

September 12, 2017

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will make its world première at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main. This high-performance two-seater hybrid, equipped with technology from Formula 1, is said to produce more than 1,000 hp (750 kW) and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h (217.5 mph). All-electric range is 25 km (15.5 miles)

The overall responsibility for the realization of Project ONE lies with Mercedes-AMG. The complex development work was carried out in close cooperation with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Brackley. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.

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nanoFlowcell planning entry into FIA Formula E with flow cell and 48V drive

August 31, 2017

Swiss R&D company nanoFlowcell Holdings (earlier post) is in discussions with Formula E Holdings on nanoFlowcell’s participation in the FIA Formula E Championship and intent to enter with a Formula E race car with nanoFlowcell 48VOLT flow-cell drive.

The nanoFlowcell is a compact flow battery operated with two ionic liquid electrolytes (bi-ION). At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, nanoFlowcell introduced the QUANT 48V electric sports car with a new version of the company’s 48-volt low-voltage drive. nanoFlowcell said that a throttled and adapted drive system based on the type installed in the QUANT 48VOLT could be used to fulfill the Formula E criteria for the maximum battery and motor output.

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Porsche leaving FIA WEC LMP1, entering Formula E

July 28, 2017

From 2019, a Porsche factory team will compete in Formula E. After four highly successful years, three victories in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Championship titles in both the team and driver classification in 2015 and 2016, Porsche will end its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2017 season.

Porsche will maintain its focus on international GT racing, and will also concentrate its motorsport strategy on using the 911 RSR in the GT class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the highlight of which is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and other long-distance classics. Porsche is now the fourth German OEM to realign its motorsport strategy this year to enter Formula E, following Audi (earlier post), BMW (earlier post) and Mercedes-Benz (earlier post).

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Mercedes-Benz commits to Formula E, departs DTM

July 25, 2017

Mercedes‑Benz announced a strategic repositioning of its motorsport activities: the company will conclude its participation in DTM at the end of 2018 and enter Formula E in the 2019/20 season.

Mercedes-Benz will thus compete in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport combining high technology and the most demanding competitive challenge; and in Formula E, which embodies the transformation that is underway in the automotive industry.

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BMW joining Formula E in Season 5

July 11, 2017

BMW will join the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer in Season 5 (2018/19). The cars, equipped with a completely newly-developed BMW drivetrain, will be run by the Andretti Formula E team as BMW’s works entry in the series.

The main driving force behind the new BMW i Motorsport is the development of innovative technology in the field of electromobility, in which the company has established a leading role over the past ten years. The consistent implementation of the new motor racing strategy also includes the expansion of classic activities at BMW M Motorsport. BMW had initially expressed in 2016 its goal to enter Formula E.

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Audi fielding Formula E factory team in December in Hong Kong; first German manufacturer in Formula E

July 07, 2017

As announced in September of last year (earlier post), Audi is taking over ABT Sportsline’s place in the Formula E race with a full-fledged factory commitment which will run under the team name of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, starting with the fourth Formula E season in Hong Kong at the beginning of December. Audi will be the first German automobile manufacturer to race in the electric series.

Together with official powertrain technology partner Schaeffler, Audi is currently in the process of developing the new powertrain to be fielded next season. At the moment, the freedom in Formula E granted to all manufacturers is limited to the motor, transmission, the respective suspension components and to software.

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Schaeffler and Audi to cooperate to develop next 3 generations of Formula E powertrain

June 26, 2017

Schaeffler and Audi have agreed on an extensive cooperation in the development of the powertrain for the next three generations of the Formula E race car. Schaeffler Chief Technology Officer Prof. Peter Gutzmer and Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development AUDI AG, signed a three-year agreement—up to and including the 2019/2020 season—in Berlin-Tempelhof during the home round of Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in Berlin.

Schaeffler has been involved in the innovative electric racing series from the beginning—designing, developing and building the powertrain for the only German Formula E race car in partnership with Team ABT since the 2015/2016 season. Audi AG entered the series with a factory-backed commitment as of the fourth season beginning in fall of 2017 (earlier post). Their partnership will include joint work on the electric motor, suspension and power electronics for the powertrain.

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Porsche unveils 2017 version of 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototype

March 31, 2017

Porsche unveiled the new 919 Hybrid at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (IT). The Le Mans prototype, with a system output of around 900 PS (662 kW), was comprehensively reworked.

The 2017 model of the Porsche 919 Hybrid deploys a range of new innovations, particularly in the vehicle’s aerodynamics, the chassis and the combustion engine. Team Principal Andreas Seidl, who continues to serve as acting technical director, said that for the 2017 season, 60 to 70 percent of the vehicle is newly developed.

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Renault unveils electric ZOE e-Sport Concept; 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds

March 08, 2017

Renault unveiled the ZOE e-Sport Concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The ZOE e-Sport is built on a ZOE platform and converted into a racing car, drawing on Groupe Renault’s three years of experience in the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) Formula E Championship, an all-electric single-seater series.

The bodywork of the ZOE e-Sport Concept concept car, which features sporty styling and the same body color as the latest Renault e.dams single-seater, is made entirely from carbon fiber and weighs 1,400 kilograms, including the battery (450 kg). The ZOE e-Sport Concept accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. The concept’s maximum speed is capped at 210 km/h; it takes fewer than 10 seconds to achieve it.

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Mercedes-AMG GT Concept performance hybrid leverages Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 hybrid technology

March 07, 2017

At the Geneva Motor Show, Daimler unveiled the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept as a preview of its third completely autonomously developed sports car, which also extends the AMG GT family to include a four-door variant. The AMG GT Concept is powered by a V8 biturbo gasoline engine and a high-performance electric motor and modular battery concept.

This performance hybrid powertrain generates a system output of up to 600 kW (805 hp). It covers the sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds. After the Formula 1 vehicle, the show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation “EQ Power+”, which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in future.

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INFINITI/Renault Sport Project Black S hints at performance hybrid powertrain, inspired by Formula 1 ERS

March 06, 2017

At the Geneva Motor Show, INFINITI is unveiling the Project Black S concept, exploring the potential for a new INFINITI performance grade, featuring on-road technology inspired by Formula One. Suggesting a radical reinterpretation of the INFINITI Q60 coupe, the Project Black S features an aerodynamically-optimized new design with a performance hybrid powertrain developed in close collaboration with the Renault Sport Formula One Team.

The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an energy recovery system (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The ERS could contribute to a 25% increase in power for INFINITI’s new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine; the result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.

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NextEV Launches NIO Brand; NIO EP9 fastest electric car on the Nürburgring Nordschliefe

November 21, 2016

At a launch event in London, electric car company NextEV unveiled its brand, NIO and its electric supercar, the NIO EP9, which has achieved a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe. On 12 October 2016, the EP9 lapped the 20.8 km (12.92-mile) ‘Green Hell’ in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record held, marking it out as the fastest electric car in the world. Additionally, on 4 November, it broke the EV record at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, recording a time of 1m 52.78s, eclipsing the previous record of 2m 40s.

With four inboard motors and gearboxes (called inboard motor generating units, MGUs), the EP9 delivers 1 MW of power, equivalent to 1,360 PS, from its 777V powertrain. Peak torque is 1,480 N·m at motor, 6,334 N·m at wheels, 0-7500 rpm.

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Audi realigns motorsport strategy: electric instead of endurance; out of FIA WEC at end of 2016 season

October 26, 2016

Audi is realigning its motorsport strategy. The brand will terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season. Instead, Audi is taking up a factory-backed commitment (earlier post) in the all-electric Formula E racing series.

Speaking to 300 employees of the motorsport department on Wednesday morning, Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler put this strategic decision in the context of the current burdens on the brand, asserting that it was important to focus on things that would keep Audi competitive in the years ahead. That is why the Board of Management had decided to terminate Audi’s commitment in endurance racing.

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