Croatian electric car specialist builds four-wheel-drive hillclimb special that can cover 0-62mph in 2.2sec

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rimac has built a 170mph four-wheel-drive electric car that will compete in this month’s Pikes Peak hillclimb in the hands of course legend Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima.

The Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One is powered by four independent electric motors that give the car a total power output of more than 1.1 megawatts, which is equivalent to approximately 1455bhp.

The drivetrain is housed in an aluminium alloy tubular space frame produced by Tajima’s Monster Sport preparation company and is clad in a carbonfibre body.

The car has no gearboxes or differentials; instead the power of each independent motor is transferred to each wheel by a chain drive system developed specifically for this project. The system is said by Rimac to bring weight savings and packaging benefits.

The Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One features an adapted racing version of Rimac’s All Wheel Torque Vectoring system, first used on the Rimac Concept_One road car. The system controls the torque of each motor 100 times a second and can vary the torque on each wheel depending on the steering angle, speed, longitudinal and lateral forces, yaw rates and a number of other variables.

Maximum torque is a claimed at 1106lb ft. A 57kWh battery pack provides the power and the car also features regenerative braking that can supply up to 536bhp of the total power.

The vehicle weighs 1500kg, and Rimac’s tests have produced some impressive performance figures.

“We measured 0-62mph in 2.2sec,” said company founder Mate Rimac. "124mph comes in 5.4sec from a standstill. We are quite confident that Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One will break the previous year’s record."

Tajima has won the headline class at the famous hillclimb a total of nine times, including six consecutive victories between 2006 and 2011.

In recent years he has focused on the category for electric vehicles and in 2014 he set a new EV course record of 9min 43.9sec. By comparison, Sébastien Loeb’s outright course record, set in his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak in 2013, is 8mins 13.87sec.

The 12.42-mile mountain course comprises 156 corners and climbs from Pikes Peak Highway, at 1440m above sea level, to the finish line at 4300m.

At that altitude, internal combustion engines suffer oxygen starvation that can rob them of up to 40% of their available power. Electric vehicles don’t suffer such effects, making them increasingly popular at the Colorado hill climb in recent years.

This year’s Pikes Peak hillclimb starts with practice sessions on Tuesday 23 June, culminating with the timed runs on Sunday 28 June.

Rimac has issued a short video of the Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One in action.

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Comments
3

2 June 2015
...why chain drive, instead of direct drive? Does anyone know the pros and cons of each solution?

2 June 2015
I assume this reduces unsprung weight. Bolt the motor to the chassis and all that's suspended is the sprocket and a percentage of the chain.

 

2 June 2015
But the proximity between the motor and suspension may be a big factor in using a chain drive instead of shaft drive, would be good to have some schematic diagrams showing the specifics.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

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