It looks like a handful of seasons in Formula E is starting to pay off in the world outside of racing. According to Top Gear UK on their most recent visit to Williams F1 engineering earlier this weekend (Nov. 19, 2017) it looks like Williams is preparing a lean and mean modular electric car platform that, on paper, has all the right specs to blow even the most powerful Tesla Model S out of the water. Check out a couple of photos of what this rolling chassis looks like below.
— Low Carbon Vehicle (@LCV_Eng) November 14, 2017
Codenamed FW-EVX, it’s elevator pitch one-liner is reason enough for investors and car manufacturers to turn heads.
The spec looks ballistic: high-end carbonfibre structure, 652bhp torque-vectored 4WD.
The secret to this platform’s amazing capabilities takes a design philosophy from Lotus and engineers it’s powerful electric motors around a “featherweight chassis.” Using their experience in Formula E, Williams knew they needed to strip as much weight as possible from the heavy electric battery box if they wanted to keep their platform’s weight in check.
Weighing in at a tick above 2,100 pounds, the platform isn’t exactly light, but by today’s standard’s it’s pretty light. It’s carbon fiber everywhere for this platform whereas conventional electric car platforms would’ve used a lightweight metal alloy. Carbon fiber members run the length of the chassis, the battery boxes are also made from the lightweight material, and even the wishbones are made from CF over the cheaper aluminum forged materials.
Since Williams F1 doesn’t make motors themselves, they’ve contracted with YASA motors, the same motors used in the Koenigsegg Regera Hybrid, choosing three of their P400 series motors to stuff inside their platform. Two electric motors are at the back and one is in the front. The two rear motors can run separately giving this platform torque vectoring capabilities.
Williams and their Formula E derived technology combine to make an electric car platform of epic proportions. The way these platforms are popping it up, it looks like the feasibility of certain electric cars will largely rely on what platform they’re running underneath.
I reported earlier last week how Mary Barra and GM is going to introduce their own EV platform that’ll serve as the bones of at least two of their upcoming EV’s.
It’ll be interesting to see what other car companies come out with in the near future as EV cars become more commonplace in the market.