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First Schaeffler drive system for racing in Formula E

In collaboration with ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler developed a proprietary drive system for racing for the first time in the company’s history. The Formula E powertrain remained the centrepiece of the open-wheel single-seater race car from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler even when Schaeffler’s technology partner Audi intensified its commitment in the team with a factory-backed commitment as of the 2017/2018 season.

In collaboration with the premium brand the system was subjected to further in-house development and successfully used up until the seventh season. Following the drivers’ title for Lucas di Grassi in 2016/2017, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler won the teams’ classification in 2017/2018. With a track record of 47 trophy wins, the team is currently the most successful outfit in Formula E and Lucas di Grassi the series’ most successful driver in terms of podium finishes (35).

Test laboratory motorsport: from the racetrack into production

Schaeffler as an electric mobility pioneer recognized the potential of a commitment in Formula E early on. From 2014 to date, fully electric and hybrid powertrains have in fact become a new and sustainable alternative in the automotive sector.

Schaeffler has used its Formula E commitment in diverse ways. Today, Schaeffler engineers are specifically using findings obtained in the design of the complex power electronics for the challenging power consumption specifications in Formula E for designs on the production side of the house.

The same is true for experience in thermal management. Dr. Jochen Schröder, President of Schaeffler’s E-Mobility Division, says: “Motorsport is not an end in itself for Schaeffler. Every commitment advances us in production development as well. In motorsport, you have to be efficient and creative, think in unconventional ways, and always strive for the next innovation – that’s what pioneers are all about.”

Technologies for the electrified DTM of tomorrow

Schaeffler is now focusing its commitment in motorsport on the fully electric future of the DTM. As series and innovation partner of the touring car championship that has been successful for more than 30 years, Schaeffler, together with the DTM umbrella organization ITR (Internationale Tourenwagen Rennen e. V.), presented a much-noticed initial demo car on the racetrack in the fall of 2020.

Starting in 2023, DTM might be racing as a fully electric series. Schaeffler is developing the electric drive systems for the new, fully electric race touring cars planned to be fielded there. The development car is equipped with Space Drive steer-by-wire technology that has already been tested in racing, plus an integrated vehicle dynamics control system for actuating the four motors. In its function as a development mule for the electric DTM, appearances in the DTM’s supporting program are planned for 2021.

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