When Koenigsegg announced its inline-triple, tri-motor ‘Gemera’ hybrid, you just knew it wasn’t going to be made using off-the-shelf powertrain bits. At the time we were told the engine was to be the clean sheet 2.0-litre ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’ weighing just 70kg and producing 600bhp, and now, the Swedish company has revealed the motors are just as bespoke and power-dense.
The unit is called ‘Quark’, taking its name from the physics term for (as explained by the Oxford English Dictionary) “any of a number of subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge, postulated as building blocks of the hadrons”. Got it? Good.
What makes Quark particularly interesting is the mixing of two motor designs – Radial Flux and Axial Flux. Radial is the more traditional cylinder-shaped motor known for being power-dense, while Axial is a flatter, disc-shaped motor whose strong suit is torque. By blending the ideas to make what it calls a ‘Raxial Flux’ unit, Koenigsegg has come up with something very powerful and very torquey despite an extremely low weight figure.
One of these is just 30kg and yet is good for 330bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Materials used in the motor’s construction 300M high-strength steel for the shaft (this stuff is favoured by the aerospace and motorsport industries), and a rotor made from Koenigsegg Aircore. That’s the hollow carbon fibre the company uses in its wheels, seats and more.
Because of what CEO Christian von Koenigsegg describes as a “class-leading torque-to-power-to-rpm-to-weight matrix,” the Quark has uses beyond automotive, such as marine and aerospace, the latter including vertical take-off and landing applications.
It’s also possible to combine two Quark units with Koenigsegg’s new ‘David’ six-phase inverter to create the ‘Terrier’ torque vectoring drive unit, so-called “since both the dog breed and the drive unit are characterized by their small, energetic and fearless demeanor,” we’re told.
Since there’s just one inverter equally splitting its phases between the motors rather than two, weight, size and complexity are reduced. The Terrier also produces its peak power and torque outputs at reasonably modest RPMs, meaning “only small low-ratio highly efficient planetary gear sets are needed at each output,” Koenigsegg says. All this makes for a unit that is very light despite being awfully potent. As it’s so small, it’s said to be possible to directly mount the Terrier onto a car’s monocoque, negating the need for a heavy subframe.
That’s all the information we have for now, but Koenigsegg has pledged to go into further detail soon. Expect some suitably geeky materials to emerge a little further down the line.
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