Koenigsegg Quark electric motor puts maximum power in a mini package
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It seems that what Koenigsegg loves as much as making car-shaped internal combustion teleportation devices is creating cool new technology for those cars. The new passion of the spirits in Angelholm, Sweden is the Quark electric motor, the David silicon carbide inverter and the Terrier EV drive unit. Engineering teams developed the Quark electric motor for the Gemera sedan, the four-door hypercar, installing three of them to complement the 600 horsepower three-cylinder internal combustion engine. The two main topologies, or designs, of electric motors are axial flux, which emphasizes power density, and radial flux, which emphasizes torque density. The Quark combines the two topologies in a shape that Koenigsegg calls “axial flow,” fashioned with cost-free materials like aerospace-grade steel and a carbon-fiber rotor.
The result is a 63-pound electric motor about the height of two energy drink cans that produces a steady 134 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. When pushed, peak power increases to 335 hp and 441 lb-ft for 20 seconds. The engineering manager said the Gemera’s three electric motors are “to boost low-speed performance ‘where you need it, for hard acceleration’, after which ICE will take over running at 400 kilometers per hour (248 mph).
We will undoubtedly see more of this kind of innovation, and in fact, we have seen it before. Two years ago, we interviewed the directors of the Texas-based company Linear Labs, which had created the Hunstable electric turbine. The HET is an electric motor that sandwiches a radial electric motor design between two axial ends of the electric motor. Creators Fred and Brad Hunstable said that “[for] the same size, the same weight, the same volume and the same amount of input energy in the [HET]we will always produce – at a minimum, sometimes more, but at a minimum – two to three times the torque output of any electric motor in the world, and that with high efficiency across the entire torque and speed range.” Even better, for EV applications, the Hunstables said their engine could operate as a direct-drive unit, eliminating the need for a gearbox.
Koenigsegg hasn’t gone that far yet. Before the Quark, the Swedes developed a six-phase silicon carbide inverter they call David. When two Quarks meet a David and a set of planetary gears, they add up to a Terrier, an EV drive unit with all the torque vectoring every electrified hypercar needs. For its 268 continuous hp and 368 lb-ft and momentary bursts of 770 hp and 882 lb-ft, the Terrier weighs just 187 pounds, with unit weight maintained in part by needing only a single six-phase inverter for its two Quarks as opposed to needing two of the more traditional three-phase inverters. The automaker says the unit can be “elasto-bolted” to a carbon fiber monocoque, which saves more weight in the chassis compared to using mounting hardware or subframes. .
Koenigsegg plans to make the Quark available for applications other than electric vehicles, including aerospace and marine uses, and perhaps a VTOL craft like the air taxis we’ve been waiting for The Jetsons.
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