Schaeffler subsidiary Compact Dynamics equips all manufacturers with innovative hybrid system
During the Monte Carlo Rally (January 20–23), the hybrid era in the International Automobile Federation (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC) began and through its subsidiary Compact Dynamics, Schaeffler once again played a pioneering role by equipping all the competing vehicles with an innovative hybrid system.
Through the introduction of new technical regulations for this popular championship, which, this year, is being held for the 50th time, the FIA is not only ensuring greater safety and equal opportunities, but is also driving forward the further development of sustainable drives.
“For Schaeffler and Compact Dynamics, motorsport has, for many years, played an important role in the development of innovative technologies for volume production solutions, in the field of e-mobility,” says Dr. Jochen Schröder, head of the E-Mobility business division at Schaeffler.
“As a series partner, we are delighted that our subsidiary, Compact Dynamics, is playing a decisive role in the future of the WRC. As pioneers of mobility, Schaeffler and Compact Dynamics recognised the potential of motorsport for developing innovative future technologies and therefore implemented a race-to-road strategy at an early stage.
The core of the new Compact Dynamics drive concept, is a high performance hybrid system that combines a motor-generator, control unit and a battery with 3.9 kWh capacity – supplied by Kreisel Electric – in a very small design envelope.
As a plug-in unit, the system weighs just 87 kilograms, is fitted transversely in the centre of the new Rally cars, and is connected with the powertrain via a shaft to the rear differential and therefore corresponds to the P3 topology.
“The system is a hybrid technology milestone,” says Oliver Blamberger, Managing Director of Compact Dynamics.
“During the events, the vehicles are driven in purely electric mode in specified areas, such as the service park, or so-called hybrid electric vehicle zones (HEV).
“In addition to the 286 kW (390 PS) provided by the internal combustion engine, the hybrid system gives the drivers 100 kW of ‘extra boost’ during special stages.
“The traction battery can then be recharged through the recuperation of braking energy during the stages.”
The expertise gained by Schaeffler through such competition is integrated directly into volume production for, as examples, electric axles, hybrid transmissions or electric motors for electric drives.
As a series and innovation partner to the DTM, Schaeffler is already revolutionising the world’s most important touring car racing series and is developing a fully electric concept vehicle with almost 1,200 PS, torque vectoring, and Space Drive steer-by-wire technology.
From the very beginning in 2014, until 2021, Schaeffler was also involved in the FIA Formula E electric racing series and played an active role as a pioneer in shaping the championship.
With its challenging calendar in Europe, Africa, and Oceania, the WRC places the highest demands on the cars and is therefore an ideal test laboratory for innovative technologies, as the events are held in extreme conditions, which range from sub-zero temperatures and snow and ice in Sweden, to dust and an altitude of more than 2,000 metres in Kenya.
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