FIA reveals regulations for new electric GT category – paultan.org
The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has announced the creation of a new electric GT category, which will see cars compete at full-length permanent circuits and operate in a similar performance window to the current GT3 class.
However, the motorsport governing body says cars in the new electric GT category will exceed their combustion engine-powered counterparts in areas such as acceleration and qualifying pace. For now, there’s no introduction date for a new race series featuring the new category just yet, although we do get some technical details.
According to the FIA, cost control and cutting-edge technology are the primary focal points with the new class, which is open to specialists in electric vehicle construction. Additionally, manufacturers that are already committed to GT3 racing can also participate and will be able to utilise the architecture and certain design elements of their existing cars and convert them to electric power.
Depending on the base model, the minimum weight of the cars will vary from 1,490 to 1,530 kg, with a maximum power output reaching 430 kW (585 PS or 577 hp). The association notes that setting a weight threshold beyond that of the GT3 class will limit the use of expensive materials to keep costs down.
The FIA’s new electric GT category will not rely on standardised batteries and teams are free to design their own architectures with different spaces available to install key components. However, their bespoke battery layouts with a total energy capacity of 87 kWh must be based on lithium-ion pouch cells supplied by Saft, a subsidiary of Total.
The Saft-supplied cells are designed to allow for 700 kW of peak regeneration and fast charging, the latter allowing for a 60% state of charge to be reached within a few minutes during a mid-race pit stop. All necessary infrastructure to support this level of fast charging will be readied at race venues.
Aside from battery layouts, teams will have the freedom to choose their own powertrain setups, be it two or four electric motors, with two or four-wheel drive allowed. Race cars under this category are expected to have a zero to 100 km/h time of 2.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 300 km/h.
Furthermore, dynamic vehicle control – essentially torque vectoring – will automatically adjust the torque of each wheel independently based on speed, acceleration, traction and steering angle for “supreme handling characteristics.” The reason for this is to allow technology transfer derived from on-track innovations.
“The FIA’s vision is to make motor sport a laboratory for sustainable mobility. The announcement of this new electric-powered GT car category is a key milestone serving this goal as it will pave the way for new battery and fast-charging technologies. A perfect illustration of our race-to-road approach,” said Jean Todt, president of the FIA.
“The market for high-performance electric road supercars is on a constant rise, hence a platform to allow manufacturers to develop and showcase their technology was much needed. Creating these technical regulations has been a key project for the FIA GT Commission over the last eighteen months,” said Leena Gade, president of the FIA GT Commission.
“We’ve held regular discussions with GT manufacturers through our technical working groups and there’s keen interest in this new category. It also widens the FIA’s GT portfolio, coexisting alongside with GT3 which will remain the focus of the customer racing market worldwide for the time being,” she added.
“The role of electric propulsion in automotive industry is ever-increasing, as we want motorsport to be relevant to our industry, more and more competitions are going in this direction. The main technical challenges are battery development, battery integration in the cars and fast charging technology,” commented Xavier Mestelan Pinon, FIA’s technical director.
“This is crucial to the manufacturers who want to develop road-relevant technology rather than relying on standard components. Also, being able to utilise and adapt GT3 platform ensures that costs are under control,” he added.
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