Racing and motorsport aren’t just about people getting to race each other in really fast cars around a loop of tarmac. There’s a lot of research and development involved, the results of which eventually trickle into the average road cars as well, often referred to as the transfer of technology. With Formula-E halfway through its fourth season, it’s time we saw some of that tech going from those streets back to…erm, the streets.
This Schaeffler 4ePerformance concept is not that. It’s less of a transfer and more of a shove-it-all-into-one kind of transplant, wherein an electrical hypercar has been made to fit inside the shell of an extraordinary road-going saloon. The concept uses FOUR electric motors from Schaeffler’s season two FE car (the FE01 that won them the championship that year) with each motor producing 220kW, connected to individual wheels via a spur gear unit, while two motors share one gearbox housing and thereby form an electric twin axle. The cumulative power at hand is a fearsome 880kW, or 1,184bhp in petrolhead speak.
Of the four, two motors also share a gearbox housing for an electric twin axle while the whole drivetrain setup is powered by two batteries with a total capacity of 64kWh. No torque figures have been quoted nor any 0-100kph times. Instead, Schaeffler just skips ahead to mention that the 4ePerformance concept can do 0-200kph in under 7 seconds. Damn, that’s quick.
Schaeffler is still part of the all-electric motorsport though now under the direct factory ownership of Audi themselves. The idea for this concept was reportedly conceived last year by current Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi and Schaeffler CEO Peter Gutzmer with an aim to explore just how FE racing tech could work in regular high-volume production. Initial results seem to be promising while the team is also working on their own driving dynamics and control system. Schaeffler’s special projects motorsports director Simon Opel explained, “This vehicle is a test laboratory on wheels thanks to its scaling options for the drive power,” and reckons this concept could also “be a supplement to volume-production drive concepts for high-performance sports cars.”
Rimac and Tesla have already shown the potential and thrill of ridiculously fast electric cars. It’ll be exciting to see what could be possible with the backing of industrial strongholds like Audi too. What are your thoughts on this concept electric hypercar? What do you expect to see as a transfer of technology from Formula E in the years to come? Share your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more news and updates from the car world as well as Formula One and Formula E.