Electric systems for electric vehicles can be modified for racecar applications which is why we’re seeing different E-racing series popping up. But these same systems are not adaptable to the demands of off-road racing. For that, you need something more. This is why Porsche is developing a revolutionary new system for two new all-electric vehicles. The Taycan Cross Turismo and next-generation Macan SUV are being developed with advanced off-road technologies.
Porsche Engineering is developing an electric off-road system that starts with an electric motor at each wheel. This aids in being able to control extreme changes in how to drive power is distributed in the system. Torque is quickly controlled electrically.
In a conventional all-wheel-drive system all of the power comes from one engine. That engine transfers the power it produces to a central differential. It distributes the power to each wheel by the axles that are attached to it.
The Porsche EV racing system controls traction to each wheel
By controlling the power at each corner the changes can be accomplished much quicker and more often. In a conventional system, mechanical clutches adjust the amount of power, which is much slower to respond. Forces can now be distributed more often by the software, and much faster to respond to demands in milliseconds. The system works so fast that it can maintain much more neutral handling at high speeds over rapidly changing terrain and conditions.
Rather than focussing on motor development Porsche engineers are creating the software that is the brains of the system. Sensors that monitor and rapidly signal changes to the motors are their main focus. This will help the SUVs with a critical need in just every-day driving.
The racing system is developed for snow and ice conditions
Severe snow and ice conditions happen regularly with vehicles in general use. Though the system Porsche engineers are working on focusses on racing, it directly applies to control traction in cold conditions. The goal is to maintain control even on slippery surfaces.
Now the system will be able to constantly monitor and adjust for minute changes in grip. If slippage is detected the system can immediately adjust each wheel to increase or reduce the power. And, it does it instantly.
Changes are so rapid drivers won’t notice
With these controls in place, drivers won’t feel any change in road surfaces and in traction. It will be interesting to see how well the system works in black ice conditions.
While we in the US consider off-road racing in terms of the desert, don’t forget that Porsche races in rallyes throughout the world and in extreme conditions. Those conditions include mountains with snow and ice.
Since this system is being developed now for future Porsche models it is not saying when it will be available. Porsche is also hinting that the system can adapt to additional motor configurations. We’ll be watching for more details about the electric control system and how it applies to both Porsche racing and production vehicles in the future.