Westfield has revealed plans for an all-electric sports car that will form the basis of a new one-make race series in 2011. The car has been shown off in public for the first time at today's Geneva motor show.
The Westfield iRACER has been under development for eight months and operational trials of its two electric YASA motors have now begun. The motors take the place of the differential and provide direct drive to each of the iRACER’s rear wheels.
The combined power output of the motors is around 160bhp while each motor also produces 369lb ft of torque. Its kerb weight is just 600kg.
The range or recharge time of its lithium-iron phosphate batteries has not yet been revealed, but Westfield says both the motors and battery pack have been designed with the requirements of a lightweight club racing car in mind.
The iRACER’s project manager, Paul Faithfull, said the car had a centre of gravity lower than that of a Formula One car.
“We have succeeded on all counts through an approach which we believe to be unique,” he said. “Storing 50 per cent of the batteries under the floor of a specially designed chassis has brought the overall centre of gravity below that of a Formula 1 car, whilst allowing drivers sufficient access to swap out units on race weekends and store the packs in a garage at safe voltages.”
The motors are currently being tested at half power, with Westfield describing the car’s early pace as “brisk”. The next stages of development include the creation of new bodywork and artificial engine noise. The motors will also be further developed to provide independent control of the rear wheels.
Westfield has developed the iRACER in conjunction with Potenza Technology, RDM Automotive, Delta Motorsport and Coventry University following a funding grant for the West Midlands Regional Development Agency.
It is set to make appearances at several public events throughout the year before the one-make series gets under way next year.