Subaru previews track special EV – the STI E-RA – and hints at future FIA E-GT project

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Subaru has provided a glimpse of its STI E-RA Challenge Project, which it says is an STI (Subaru Tecnica International) near-future motorsport study developed to gain experience of new technologies in motorsports.

The manufacturer said its first goal for the model is to try to record a lap time of 400 seconds (6 minutes 40 seconds) in a time attack at the Nürburgring circuit from 2023 onward, after a test program in Japan through 2022.

The car will utilize four motors developed by Yamaha, with one per wheel to allow for torque vectoring, giving a total output of 800kW. Each motor will have its own integrated power electronics and reduction gearbox.

Subaru noted that to achieve efficient torque vectoring, the system will use inputs including wheel speed, vehicle speed, steering angle, g-force, yaw rate, brake pressure and wheel load. Using this, it will ascertain the drive/braking torque of each wheel to meet a target stability factor and provide instructions to the inverter to adjust power output at each wheel.

The company said it has opted for a torque vectoring approach as this enables a high level of responsiveness and direct control of the yaw. Notably, it also highlighted the technology as a feature included in the regulations for the FIA’s E-GT series, stating, “We regard this to be the best direction for us to work in.”

However, it remains to be seen when or if the company plans to race the vehicle beyond the record-setting attempts in 2023. There is, of course, potential for the technology previewed in the STI E-RA to form the basis of a more conventional E-GT machine.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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