Delta : Battery-electric E-4 Coupé launched at Silverstone

Delta Motorsport Limited, a highly innovative UK engineering consultancy based at the Silverstone Circuit, has designed and built the battery-electric Delta E-4 Coupé from the ground up. Delta’s focus on light weight and high-efficiency systems means that the stylish two-door coupe has a range of 200 miles on a single charge and yet can accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than five seconds.

The company, which was founded in 2005 by Simon Dowson and Nick Carpenter, has considerable experience in the motor sport and mainstream automotive sectors as well as other aspects of high performance engineering and clean technology but the E-4 Coupé is the business’ most high profile project to date.

Dowson explains: ‘We became involved with the design of hybrid and electric vehicles because they share many of the engineering challenges associated with motor sport – light weight parts, aerodynamic efficiency and innovative packaging solutions. We’ve had to re-think road cars from the beginning, looking at low cost composite structures, system efficiencies and novel occupant packaging.’

The key to the E-4 Coupé’s impressive performance and range is the integration of all these technologies into a single vehicle:

– The carbon composite chassis, designed by Delta and manufactured by KS Composites, weighs just 85kg – 2/3 less than a comparable steel structure despite being designed to pass EU crash tests.

– The high performance direct-drive electric motors were designed in partnership with Oxford University and spin-out Oxford YASA Motors and produce well over 600Nm of torque and over 120hp each while only weighing 23kg.

– The low, sporty seating position with the batteries mounted under the floor means that the car handles superbly but it also helps reduce aerodynamic drag.

Delta Motorsport are a prime example of just how much determination, innovation and intelligence there is in the UK Motor Industry. For a small company, they’re making a big impact and deserve a monster slap on the back. Their E-4 Coupé is a remarkable piece of work.” Quentin Willson

Development of the car was supported by a grant for research and development by the Regional Development Agency for the East Midlands area, EMDA. Five vehicles have been produced for the Technology Strategy Board Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme, the vehicles are part of the EEMS Accelerate consortium which aims to showcase high performance electric vehicles with cutting edge British design and engineering.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led Government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.

The launch of the E-4, which took place earlier this week at Silverstone where the car was designed and manufactured, was attended by a number media representatives including Quentin Willson and EV champion Robert Llewellyn of Scrapheap Challenge. All the guests who attended the event were able to complete two laps of Silverstone’s Stowe Circuit in the E-4 and, having done so, Quentin Willson commented: ‘Delta Motorsport are a prime example of just how much determination, innovation and intelligence there is in the UK Motor Industry. For a small company, they’re making a big impact and deserve a monster slap on the back. Their E-4 Coupé is a remarkable piece of work.’

The Delta E-4 Coupe will be taking part in the RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday, 5 November 2011, one day before the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the world’s longest-running motoring event. The event showcases the very latest low energy vehicles in a 60-mile trial from Brighton to London, with the challenge of using the least amount energy over the route.

[Source: Delta Motorsport Limited]

[Editor’s Note: A reliable and well-informed source has told AROnline that several Engineers from SMTC UK visited Delta Motorsport’s Silverstone base last week – perhaps they were evaluating the technology found in the Delta E-4 Coupé for potential use in the recently confirmed new MY16 MG sports car…]

Posted in: AROnline News
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

6 Comments on "Delta : Battery-electric E-4 Coupé launched at Silverstone"

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  1. Andrew Elphick says:

    I’m impressed, but how would a Midas EV compare? The Midas had a fully type approved and crash tested composite monocoque over 20 years ago…

    The Delta does have a pretty, squished Fiat Coupe/Honda CR-X look about it – I hope it succeeds.

  2. Simon Woodward says:

    @Andrew Elphick
    This is a nifty looking car and I get the Midas EV idea or even a GTM Libra. Both of those would make a great homemade eco car project. I’ve always fancied making a wind generator for my workshop but I think a electric car is a little beyond my resources and skills.

    I believe that the Honda CR-Z is a hybrid – that looks quite smart. Talking of Smart, I followed a Smart Fortwo hybrid the other day and, crikey, it could shift.

    It’s about time eco cars were a bit more palatable to look at – most of them look like the styling was an afterthought, like the Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car or the Toyota Prius.

    I still think that Lotus city car shown at last year’s Paris Motor Show is the way forward – beyond a City, electric cars become very limited due to their poor range and lengthy charge times. However, a smart, trendy little sports coupe or small hatch for buzzing around the confines of a city is a positive step in the right direction.

  3. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    These are neat looking cars – I don’t think many folk would feel out of place driving one of those around town.

    Pretty eyecatching, especially the white one…

  4. Landyboy says:

    Anyone know how much the Delta E-4 Coupé will cost?

  5. Simon says:

    I could certainly live with a car with a 200 mile range and neat styling. However, this is a showcase car and can never be built in volume at a reasonable price. I hope SAIC Motor or JLR look at this and develop it, but more likely a foreign car firm will buy the rights.

    The UK has a terrible record of leading edge design and creativity but no follow on investment. ITM Power Plc in Sheffield is developing innovative hydrogen fueling systems for cars and homes – many visits by Government ministers but no help with investment – a typically short-sighted approach.

  6. DaveH says:

    The Delta’s front looks like a Lotus but the side profile looks like a kid’s drawn it!

    I’m sorry but electric cars are not a solution – they just move the problem of where the energy comes from to elsewhere. They are also not enviromentally friendly – how much energy and resources go into making the batteries and what happens at the end of their life?

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