It may not look much different, but BMW’s slick 5 Series has been upgraded for 2013
Audi builds an R8 ‘F12’ supercar!
It may look like an R8 on the outside, but underneath is the culmination of €36 million and three years of research – a brand new ‘e Sport’ electric car platform dubbed F12.
In 2009, Audi’s white coats got together with some top brains from Bosch and the RWTCH Aachen University to collaborate and produce a ‘scalable electric vehicle technology platform’. The results of the project could underpin the next generation of electric cars – including anything from sports cars to saloons and SUVs, reckons Audi.
The F12 is powered by three electric motors – one synchronous motor situated on the front axle and two asynchronous motors on the rear axle. At urban speeds only the front motor is used, but at higher speeds the ‘performance-optimised’ motors on the rear axle come into play, turning the F12 into a fully electric Quattro with 204hp and 405.6lb ft of torque.
One of the project’s key achievements is a high-voltage 38kWh battery, which features two separate 200 macrocell blocks with cast aluminium casing to absorb crash energy in the event of an impact. A switchable high-voltage electrical system also means that under part load, the voltage is reduced to around 200 volts to maximise efficiency – rising to as much as 440 volts when additional performance is demanded.
An efficient heat pump aids thermal management, enabling the F12 to store heat in the batteries, which can then be used to heat the interior the next time the car is driven.
On the inside, the F12 is suitably techy, with a high resolution screen which can be user-customised to display key information – and a removable tablet computer mounted in the centre console controlling most of the cabin functions.
Project manager Christian Allmann:
“From the very beginning, our initiative was the largest interdisciplinary research project in Germany for electric cars.”
“Everyone who was involved gained competence and provided valuable qualification among themselves according to the ‘open innovation’ principle, including for the employees at the companies and universities.”
The project, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research also resulted in 20 degree and 50 doctoral theses.
Does the F12 name sound familiar, though? We wonder what the folk at Ferrari’s legal department might make of that particular moniker being applied to another supercar…
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