BMW has built a special concept vehicle which it is using to test “innovative drive and chassis control systems” for future electric high-performance cars. The concept testing focuses on a four-wheel drive system comprising four electric motors and an integrated driving dynamics control system.
The test car is based on the BMW i4 M50, an electric coupe that features wide wheel arches, which permit the integration of specifically manufactured high-performance front and rear axle designs.
The fact that each of the four wheels is driven by its own electric motor opens up new possibilities for “infinitely variable, extremely precise and very fast distribution of drive torque.” BMW says the power and torque of the electric motors can be controlled so precisely that “the load demand signaled via the accelerator pedal can be realized at a level of dynamics that is unattainable using conventional drive systems.”
The four motors are connected to a central control unit that continuously monitors driving conditions and driver input. The ideal level of power transmission to the road is calculated within milliseconds from the values for the accelerator pedal position, steering angle, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, wheel speeds and other parameters. Signals are transmitted via a multi-plate clutch and differentials to the four motors, which are able to implement them immediately and precisely.
“Electrification opens up completely new degrees of freedom for us to create M-typical dynamics,” says Dirk Häcker, Head of Development at BMW. “And we can already see that we can exploit this potential to the maximum, so that our high-performance sports cars will continue to offer the M-typical and incomparable combination of dynamics, agility and precision in the emission-free future.”