China-based Dongfeng Motor (DFM) has launched two new passenger cars powered by ProteanDrive Pd18 in-wheel motors. The two models were showcased at a ceremony in Wuxi, held by DFM and Weifu Electric Drive Technology (WFDT)—the joint venture between Weifu and Protean Electric (earlier post).
Unveiled at the event was the E70, the world’s first fully homologated passenger car equipped with ProteanDrive, alongside the Voyah Zhuiguang, a luxury sedan built on a new vehicle platform using in-wheel-motors.
DFM E70. In-wheel motor technology enables improvements in space, acceleration and cornering speed on the existing E70 vehicle platform.
The Dongfeng Fengshen E70, one of the bestselling passenger vehicles in China, is a battery-electric vehicle. Its front wheels are driven by an inherited central motor, and in the 4WD version the rear wheels are driven by two ProteanDrive Pd18 in-wheel motors. Each Pd18 has a peak power of 78 kW and a peak torque of 1250N·m.
ProteanDrive Pd18 in-wheel motors applied to the E70 platform creates a high-performing all-wheel drive option, delivered with limited design changes and a short development cycle. DFM stated that the E70 powered by ProteanDrive is lighter and more efficient than an all-wheel drive model powered by e-axles, with increased storage space of 50% and 0-100 km/h acceleration time reduced by 42%.
Additionally, fitting the ProteanDrive system has enabled torque vectoring, providing an 18% increase in cornering speed under extreme driving conditions, and improving the dynamics, maneuverability, and active safety, all while reducing the number of parts in the vehicle by 83.
DFM led the vehicle development and full MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) homologation, including successful completion of crash impact, mud, salt spray, high and low temperature, icing, winter and accelerated durability testing. DFM successfully homologated the E70 as the world’s first passenger car driven by in-wheel motors, in December 2022.
The initial batch of vehicles will now complete extensive fleet trials, including a road-trip from Wuhan to Wuxi.
Also launched at the event was the Voyah Zhuiguang, equipped with Pd18 systems. Voyah is Dongfeng’s latest dedicated electric vehicle brand for the premium market. The Zhuiguang is the first sedan product of the Voyah brand, a flagship luxury electric vehicle.
DFM has collaborated with Protean since 2016. In March 2022, Dongfeng, Weifu and Protean signed a three-party Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement to fit ProteanDrive in-wheel motor products on multiple vehicle models. The launch of the E70 and Voyah Zhuiguang is the latest outcome of the partnership.