VOLAR-E, the wicked fast 1000 HP electric race car on a mission to explode stereotypes
Instant torque at 0 RPM can, if packaged right, make for a wicked fast race car. In late 2012 Applus+IDIADA won a contract to build a high performance electric race car, and four months later they demonstrated that car at the Circuit de Catalunya during the F1 Test Days. Take the supercar shape dreamed of by adolescent boys around the world, give it four electric motors totaling 1000 horsepower, variable torque vectoring, and much more, and that's what you have in Applus' VOLAR-E.
The spec's of the car are 1000 horsepower (750 kilowatts) and 1000 nM of torque. It sports four electric motors, and it has a torque vectoring system to independently control the power to each motor depending on the needs of the moment. The battery pack is 38 kilowatt-hours, making it about 1.5x the size of typical electric car battery packs such as in the Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric. The battery pack is made from lithium iron phosphate modules built by Rimac. These are 20S3P modules, meaning each module is 60 cells, connected in groups of 3 parallel cells for 20 in series. The whole pack is ten of these 64 volt modules for 640 volts in total.
Surrounding all this is a lightweight carbon-fiber frame. According to a statement made by Applus in October 2012, the VOLAR-E will also "incorporate the latest developments in vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication systems, as well as a user interface based on new applications designed for current and future smartphones."
As for speed the VOLAR-E tops out at an electronically governed 186 miles/hr and has a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds. It has four driving modes, and they aren't described as "fast," "extra fast," "super fast," and "wicked fast," but instead: Eco, Dynamic, Racing and Wet
Applus doesn't give an estimated driving range but with such a fast car the estimated driving range using the normal test procedures wouldn't be very useful anyway. What would be more useful to know is the number of laps this car could run on a charge, to get a feel for how it would perform in a regular race. The video does claim a fast 15 minute recharge time thanks to a proprietary DC fast charge system.
For anyone who's counting, these spec's beat those of the McLaren P1 plug-in hybrid supercar that were revealed last week.
Going by comments on the YouTube video there may be a little controversy over the pedigree of the VOLAR-E. Was it indeed built by Applus, or is it actually a Rimac Concept One in disguise? That electric supercar also has four electric motors with torque vectoring, but at a slightly higher power level, slightly higher top speed, slightly faster 0-60 times, a DC fast charging system, etc. All very similar, and the two cars look very similar. The biggest difference is the Rimac Concept One has a battery pack 3 times as large for a 600 kilometer driving range.