NEW Seat E-TCR and Why we need E-TCR

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With announcement this month for the New Seat E-TCR, a freshly developed full electric power race car concept. Now the race is really on previous development also include Renault Zoe e-Sport concept in mid 2017, while E-Touring car race with e-Golf in the support race from Formula-E in 2016. So What does this all mean? And why we need E-TCR?

Headline figures the Seat Cupra e-Racer E-TCR concept was released with limited specification details, with claimed peak power rated at 500kw (670hp), 0-100km/h takes 3.2seconds. The weigh is estimated to be around 1350kg, with the battery pack weighing in around 450kg, the target to complete a battery recharge in just 40 minutes. This is one of the first race car to be revealed, that is built under the E-TCR regulation by WSC Technology Ltd., a subsidiary of TCR organizer WSC Ltd.

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There are generally 2 camps of reactions with electric race cars, on the right side there are people who welcome the arrival of the “new development” of new electric powered race cars, claiming it is the future of motorsport. On the left side, the petrol head generally depict the electric cars are boring, without engine sound and the explosiveness of ICE (internal combustion engine). Either way you look at it, the trend of electric cars are coming whether you like it or not, and associated with the racing/driving electric cars, there is a different approach compared to the petrol counter part. We had the experience with engineering e-Golf support race for Formula E in 2016.

Power Management, as the battery capacity gains rapid improvement 2016 saw the e-Golf with 24kWh battery pack, while the new Seat Cupra e-TCR gets a 65kWh battery pack, that is 2.7 times the capacity in less then 2 years. Imagine getting more then 2x the power in the motorsport arena with an ICE in less then 2 year. Managing your power output throughout the race is much more complicated matter then putting max output; battery, electric motor temperature, discharge rate and much more. The driver will need to reacquaint his knowledge about power, one needs to understand how the system works, how the software is managing the power.

Power Characteristic, with a low power output it was not so much about the characteristic, as the car built originally for ICE previous was capable of managing the low electric power output with ease, as the power war heats up, most people know electric motor output comparatively big torque from the word go (or throttle/accelerator application). As there are minimal delay from the torque delivery, how to maximise the usage of torque is critical, this with the assistance of traction control system, would make lighter weigh of driver’s mistakes.

Chassis setup and weigh distribution, with the different packaging of the battery powered cars, as most of the weigh (the battery) are packed around the central floor area, it seems ideal in terms of weigh distribution. With an ICE package, especially in touring car, the weigh distribution changes as the race progress as the fuel tank gets lighter as the fuel is being used up, in physical terms the car can have a difference in weigh front to rear of 50kg, with the standard front wheel drive propulsion of the touring car specifications, the change of weigh distribution with the degradation of the front tires as the race progress make it even more difficult to manage the setup with the traditional ICE package.

There are large amounts of engineering work to be done with the transition, and overall I think it is a good thing that we are getting a new challenge for the E-TCR and electric motorsport development.

Let us know what you think.

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