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Volar-e prototype electric sports car unveiled

Spanish engineering company Applus+ Idiada has officially unveiled its Volar-e supercar prototype at the Circuit de Catalunya during the F1 Test Days in Barcelona. Developed for the European Commission and apparently based on the Rimac Concept One, the all-electric Volar-e boasts 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration of 3.4 seconds, does the standing quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds, and reaches its top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) in only 12.1 sec.

Volar-e electric coupe by Applus-Idiada at top, Rimac Concept One at bottom
The Volar-e electric supercar
Dual electric motors used in both the Volar-e and the Rimac Concept One
Driver’s side view of the Volar-e
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The Volar-e is a two-seat coupe with a carbon-fiber body over a tubular chrome-moly steel chassis. To achieve its impressive performance figures, the car uses an electric four-wheel drive system that delivers a claimed 1,000 hp (760 kW) and 737 ft-lb (1,000 Nm) of torque. Its four electric motors are situated along the centerline of the car, rather than in the hubs, with the aim of reducing unsprung mass and thus improving handling.

With a wheelbase of 2.77 m (9 ft) and front/rear track of 1.54/1.534 m (60.6/60.4 in), the Volar-e is on a par with the size of its gasoline-powered brethren. The curb weight is not listed, but a rather small (38 kWh) lithium-iron-phosphate battery was chosen in part to save weight.

The car’s steering is power-assisted rack and pinion and the front and rear suspension consists of fully adjustable, pushrod operated double wishbones. The brakes are carbon-ceramic composite discs, with 100-0 kph (63-0 mph) stopping distance of a bit over 30 m (98 ft). The car also uses regenerative braking to supplement its stored energy.

The Volar-e powertrain has four separate units, each driving one wheel via a power inverter, motor, and reduction gear. Sensors on the drive units and around the car send real-time information to engine control units, which can then adjust the power driving each wheel hundreds of times per second to produce a desired set of handling characteristics. This Torque Vectoring system allows the Volar-e to be set for driving styles ranging from eco to racing. Like most electric cars, the weight of the batteries results in the car having a very low center of gravity.
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