Last year, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima got the 2nd place at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He competed with the Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One. It was an electric car made in cooperation with Rimac Automotive. While Tajima practically doesn’t need introductions, as one of the Pikes Peak legends, Rimac is a very new company. But with high ambitions, as the Concept-S and the Concept-One have already shown MotorChase readers. It was their first cooperation and it can be considered as a very successful one. Besides not being familiar with the car, Tajima also faced a problem with the mechanical braking system. At this year’s edition, both of them want to claim the first overall position. And that would a real treat, since the competition celebrates 100 years in 2016.
The Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One has received aerodynamic upgrades, but not only that. The car has had suspension geometry changes, as well as received new dampers. But the main efforts have been concentrated on the Rimac All Wheel Torque Vectoring system. With last year’s race, the company has gathered a lot of information and updated the controlling softwares of AWTV. Rimac says it is able to control each of the 4 independent engines 100 times a second. And it is an essential part of the car, considering it has more than 1 MW of power. If it shares the same powertrain with the Rimac Concept-S, we can say it has exactly 1,018 kW and 1,800 Nm. But in a much smaller and lighter car. Will it be able to put all that power to the ground in an effective manner? Rimac says that the AWTV ensures that.
How AWTV works
If you have no idea how it works, check our article about it clicking here. Summing up, Rimac cars have no gears or differentials. Their ECU can control each of the engines, putting more or less torque depending on many variables. Speed and steering angle are the basic ones, but the algorithms also consider longitudinal and lateral forces and yaw-rates, among other data. The engines are not put into the wheels, but are placed in the middle of each axle, so that unsprung mass is not a concern. Power is transmitted to the wheels with the help of an “innovative chain drive system developed specifically for this project”.
The practical effect of all this is torque vectoring and maximum traction for the tires, according to Rimac. We’ll get the chance to see if it worked next weekend, when Pikes Peak takes the dust out of its green flags.