Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) – a former subsidiary of the Williams Formula One racing team – and Italian design house Italdesign have jointly unveiled a new electric vehicle architecture, claiming it is versatile enough to underpin crossover SUVs, sedans, and high-performance sports cars.
The platform is reportedly capable of delivering “up to” 1000kW, and its dual motors draw voltage from battery packs ranging in size between 104kWh and 160kWh (significantly larger than those in most contemporary production electric cars). With the largest power source optioned, WAE claims a maximum range of 1000km.
As with most modern electric vehicle architectures, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive layouts are available, while wheelbases between 2900mm and 3100mm can be accommodated.
According to engineers behind the project, the skateboard chassis is rigid enough to evade reliance on torsional support from the upper body – this allows multiple “top hats” to be dropped on the same running gear, lowering production costs and increasing versatility.
While WAE was reportedly wholly responsible for developing the rolling chassis, Italdesign was responsible for adding safety systems. The stylist will also market the product, and claims to have capacity to produce 500 examples in-house at its own manufacturing facility.
“We are delighted to join forces with Italdesign on this exciting and timely joint collaboration” Paul McNamara, technical director at WAE, said in an official statement.
“Demand for high performance electric vehicles is continuing to show considerable growth but to date, there has not been a complete EV production solution. This unique relationship brings together state-of-the-art EV rolling chassis technology with one of the world’s leaders in vehicle body engineering”.
“The partnership will allow the premium vehicle industry to harness an unprecedented amount of sector-leading expertise. We will be able to support both new automotive entrants in bringing halo EVs to market – and established OEMs on lower volume high performance models – with turnkey project delivery across the board, homologation included”.
WAE was a long-term collaborator with Lotus during development of the British brand’s upcoming Evija all-electric hypercar. However, in late 2020 Lotus terminated its contract and cut ties with the firm. It is unclear if any technology from the Evija project has carried over into the new platform.
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