Audi RS3 Goes Electric, Morphs Into the Drift-happy Schaeffler 4ePerformance

Audi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedan 6 photos
Photo: Schaeffler
Audi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedanAudi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedanAudi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedanAudi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedanAudi RS3-based Schaeffler 4ePerformance electric sedan
As it is, the RS3 Sedan is one of the best Audi Sport vehicles out there. But if you give one of those to the peeps at Schaeffler, the turbocharged inline-5 engine comes out to make room for not one, not two, but four Formula E-spec electric motors.
From the makers of the electric Skoda Octavia Scout 4WD with 285 PS, the 4ePerformance has a total output of 880 kW, translating to 1,200 horsepower of the metric variety. In American ponies, make that 1,180 horsepower. Described as a “close-to-volume-production drive concept,” the 4ePerformance isn’t road legal.

Each of the electric motors drives one wheel, and yes, all of them are similar in design to those powering the ABT Schaeffler FE01 racing car that competed in the 2016-17 Formula E season. Even though it wears slick tires on all four corners, the 4ePerformance can pull off all-wheel-drive drifts at the simple tap of the throttle.

Acceleration to 200 km/h (124 miles per hour) takes less than 7 seconds, and the concept tallies 64 kWh from not one, but two Li-Ion batteries. Each pair of electric motors shares one gearbox housing (forming two electric twin axles), while on the individual level, each motor is connected to the wheel by means of a spur gear unit.

“In the same way as Schaeffler has contributed its technical expertise to Formula E from the very beginning, it also plays a pioneering role and is a partner for components and complete system solutions when it comes to applying electric mobility to volume production vehicles and putting them on the road,” declared Peter Gutzmer, chief technology officer of the automotive supplier that offers an expansive range of products for electric mobility and drivetrain electrification.

The company, which is the title sponsor of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E team, argues that the technology and packaging used for the 4ePerformance are already integrated into several of its products. At the present moment, the Schaeffler Group prides itself on “an average of 60 products in every vehicle worldwide.”

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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