Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quimera’s brutal all-electric 600hp racer coming next year

These are the first images of the AEGT EVO2, a 600hp electric race car due early next year. Developed by Quimera and automotive innovators Altran, it’s the first of five ambitious motorsport projects aimed at demonstrating the incredible future potential of electric and non-fossil fuel mobility.
The AEGT (All-Electric GT) EVO2 is the latest in a long line of green racing cars-cum-technology testbeds from the two companies. Other projects have included an electric drift car, single seaters and even electric superbikes.
Despite the AEGT EVO2′s borderline cartoon renderings, history shows us that the chances of it hitting the track are high. The original AEGT, a GT1-esque 700hp monster, has been in testing for some time (video below) and forms the basis of the new car. ‘Monster’ really is the word, the AEGT had to be detuned to 450hp to preserve the car’s tires and, more importantly, the lives of the decorated collection of racing drivers assembled to pilot the thing.
Power for the new car will be down 100hp from the original AEGT, to 600hp, but so will weight – the EVO2 will be a250kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to a lighter gearbox and a more advanced composite bodyshell. Those familiar with motorsport will appreciate what a monumental figure that is, and it gives the EVO2 a power-to-weight ratio within spitting distance of the Bugatti Veyron. What the world’s fastest road car can’t hope to match is the electric car’s freakish levels of torque available at the drop of a hat, however. Quimera hasn’t released a figure for the EVO2, but the original car developed 1200Nm with the wick turned up.
The outrageous aerodynamic forms seen in the renders will be paired back slightly when the car makes production. Quimera says it will resemble something between an LMP1 endurance racer (like the Drayson B12 69/EV) and a GT car.
Performance should be astonishing. Less than four secondsafter setting off the AEGT EVO2 will be in triple figures. That’s in miles per hour, not kilometres. Top speed, an entirely relevant suggestion given the car’s potential acceleration, will be in the region of 190 mph.
Quimera and Altran have traditionally been keen to get projects off the board as soon as possible and we should see a running prototype vehicle early next year. The aim isn’t so much for a one-make electric racing series to rival the likes of Formula E, but to proposition technology for the major vehicle manufacturers and the future of mobility overall. Noble, yes, and by doing it through projects like the AEGT the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the show.
Motorsport is starting to take up the reigns of road car research and development in a way that Formula 1 hasn’t for many years now. Cars like the freakishly fast Radical-based ELMOFO from Australia have real potential for a racing series and Formula E is set to be beamed worldwide when the first season begins next year.
When electric road cars have lighter, more energy dense batteries, can charge on the move and are comfortably quicker than their combustion-engined alternatives, we’ll likely have motorsport to thank.