NEWS – The concepts associated with the world of exhibitions before the coronavirus have not gone away. The Electrical Engineering Laboratory is a novelty of the young luxury brand Stellantis.
DS, we think, missed the mark when the label, which stood for a parallel line of premium models, cut the umbilical cord with Citroën in 2014 and decided to go its own way. At the time, in order to stand out in a particularly competitive universe, betting on electricity to become the French Tesla was a bold bet, but not a pointless one. It’s not obvious that DS would have sold far fewer cars than it does now. As a bonus, the new brand would play the role of a technology lab for the entire group.
With four driver and constructor titles won in the Formula E (FE) World Championship in electric single-seaters, its legitimacy in this market could not be questioned. Finally, on the production front, DS entered through the back door with the DS3 Crossback, which shares its electric platform with the Peugeot 208. From 2024 alone, DS will only launch electric vehicles. The DS4 E-Tense will be the first model in a new generation of zero-emission vehicles. It is possible that this car benefits from the experience gained in Formula E and from the test bed, which is E-Tense Performance, the brand’s latest concept.
Launched last year, this coupe prototype design, which we have been able to follow, provides a clue to the styling of future DS models as well as future technological developments. For both cost and timing reasons, the DS Performance and styling office teams started from the existing base, the 2015 E-Tense concept, which retained only the carbon cell monocoque. New front and rear hoods set the stage for an evolution of the DS style. This study is especially relevant to its technology, which owes much to the world of competition.
Engineers have grafted the chassis and electrical systems of the DS FE21 single-seater competing in the current FE championship, which is scheduled to final on July 2 in Marrakech, onto an existing structure. Both electric motors are derived from FE. Front power 340 hp is matched with a 475 hp rear-end power borrowed from the third generation of single-seaters that will come into effect in 2023. Thus, from 815 hp. the car is the most powerful of the Stellantis group. Those responsible for the project report dizzying performance of the pilot: just 2 seconds to accelerate to 100 km / h. An energy that would largely be the result of a controlled mass. Only 1250 kg.
The relative lightness of the DS concept is based not only on the carbon fiber construction and body, but also on the use of a battery weighing only 250 kg. Designed by Saft and housed at the rear in a central rear position in a carbon-aluminum composite housing, these batteries are solutions that could enable the world of electricity to make significant progress. The partners remain silent on the technology, but both the battery chemistry and the cooling system are innovative. Thermal management, one of the key factors in battery performance, depends on a specially designed cooling system. The cells and electronics are immersed in a liquid that regulates the temperature.
By avoiding overheating, this system ensures perfect battery performance at all times. Its power is only 25 kWh. By comparison, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense delivers 50 kWh. If the engineers got away with installing a large battery, it’s because the concept has a breathtaking regeneration power of up to 600kW. Approximately six times higher than the best electric models on the market. Finally, for recharging, thanks to the installation of 800 V, the power reaches 350 kW. It takes five minutes to complete. Thanks to the DS concept, we already see that the world of electrics is becoming more domesticated every day. He is far from revealing all his secrets.