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…]