Williams teases 480kW battery-powered supercar
Sep 07, 2017 Barry Park
MERCEDES-Benz and Aston Martin aren’t the only car makers bringing Formula
One technology to the road. Now F1 manufacturer Williams wants in on the
party, launching an experimental battery-powered platform it thinks could
one day sit under a road car.
Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology, testing and engineering
division of the F1 constructor, says its FW-EVX electric vehicle platform
that it claims is lighter, safer and greener, with longer range and better
performance than anything else out there.
Williams electric supercar platform“With the car industry currently focussed
on how it transitions from the internal combustion engine to a fully
electric future, a major challenge for manufacturers is how to maximise
vehicle efficiency, given current limitations,” Williams Advanced
Engineering said in a statement.
“The concept features several innovations in battery pack design, cooling
systems and lightweight structures, which have each been cleverly integrated
into a single, scalable platform.”
What is it? Looking something like a McDonald’s fast food tray suspended
between four pretty cool-looking lightweight alloy wheels connected to the
chassis via fibre-reinforced suspension components that cut weight by 40
percent compared with conventinal aluminium wishbones. They’re made using
what Williams claims is a highly automated process that produces “near zero”
waste. all up, the composite and aluminium structure weighs 955kg, with the
batteries alone contributing to 340kg of that.
The design also uses the chassis rails to provide cooling air to the 380
batteries arranged in three rows across the body. All up, Williams estimates
the platform will support a supercar weighing in around 1750kg, with a range
of more than 550km.
“Another innovation being showcased is the process of forming high-strength
3D structures from 2D materials which, in this instance, has created an
exoskeleton for a battery module that also contributes to the structural
performance of the battery,” it said.
Williams electric supercar platform“The P1166 transmission, fully integrated
with YASA P400 motor-generator, meets the tight packaging and lightweight
requirements for the front axle of Williams’ innovative modular lightweight
electric car chassis,” a statement from Xtrac, which will supply the
“It’s complemented at the rear by Xtrac’s P1227 transmission with torque
vectoring capability, which made its debut in 2016, and which has already
been selected by customers for high performance EV applications.” Oh, and it
It then goes on to say that the transmission is rated to a maximum speed of
“over 10,000rpm”, and when combined with the three electric motors that the
Williams chassis uses, “the overall rating of the Williams powertrain is
The chassis shown is all-wheel drive, but Williams said the single 160kW
motor for the front axle could be deleted, leaving a 320kW twin-motor
rear-drive layout. The platform on display has an 80kWh energy capacity on a
2800mm wheelbase, although Williams said the modular design would allow
more, or less, capacity.
Williams electric supercar platformWhatever the gearbox goes in, though, it
won’t be a volume model. Xtrac said it had the capacity to produce 1000 of
the gearboxes a year, although it did have other high-end clients, including
car makers and motorsport teams, on its books.
So why did Williams want to build a car without a body? “Vehicle efficiency
has always been core to Williams, whether it be in Formula One or with
Williams Advanced Engineering’s customer projects,” Williams Advanced
Engineering technical director Paul McNamara said.
“These technologies, and our thinking around how to create a tightly
integrated, lightweight chassis and powertrain package, have the potential
to greatly increase the competitiveness of the next generation of electric
“By making EVs more attractive to consumers, we can help accelerate their
adoption and the air quality benefits they bring,” he said.
Williams Advanced Engineering already has electric vehicle experience,
having built the Bladeglider concept for Nissan, and supplying the advanced
batteries used in the Formula E open-wheeler series that is attracting
big-name manufacturers, including Porsche, Audi and Jaguar.
The FW-EVX is on displayed at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show in Millbrook,
[© 2017 Wheels]
Advanced Engineering - Williams F1
Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation,
engineering, testing, and manufacturing services to deliver energy efficient
Williams Wants to Make it Easier to Produce Electric Cars
Sep 06, 2017 It's designed to make electric vehicles lighter, safer, and
greener, while offering longer range and better performance. Basically, the
FW-EVX is a single, scalable ...
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