Williams Advanced Engineering has revealed details of its upcoming electric car platform, the FW EV-X.
The platform will be aimed at high-end manufacturers looking to create low-volume electric sports and supercars, performance saloons, convertibles and even SUVs.
With 652bhp-worth of electric power on tap, and a weight of just 955kg for the platform, the FW EV-X could well be a turning point for electric performance cars. Williams predicts that cars using the platform could weigh as little as 1750kg, which is well over 300kg less than Tesla's Model S, and 125kg less than Aston Martin's V12 DB11.
Williams Advanced Engineering technical director Paul McNamara discussed the company's reasoning for taking on the project: "We've got the situation out there where the motor industry is pushing really hard on electrification. A number of cars have got the so-called 'skateboard' configuration, Tesla being the most obvious example. You put all the batteries under the floor, the weight's nice and low in the car, and away you go."
The problem with high-performance electric cars as it stands is weight. With their storied background in Formula One, Williams feels it could be the solution.
"What we've tried to do is make it as lightweight and high-performance as we reasonably can, and included a number of technologies that will excite the industry and get people talking to us about it. Also, if you are a low-volume manufacturer with aspirations of launching into the electrified vehicle market, then here's something 'off the shelf' that you can work with to launch your dream of getting a car out there."
But when can we expect to see it utilised by a manufacturer and put on sale? McNamara believes the answer is 'soon': "I think, if we were to get started today, we see about a two-year timeframe to get a customer into a car."
Certain design elements from the platform, such as its innovative refrigerated cooling system and suspension wishbone parts, are also set to see use in numerous other projects separate from FW EV-X, while un-named manufacturers are showing interest in the platform in its entirety.