Motorsport achieves a lot of goals for automakers. Perhaps the most important of which is that it allows its research and development to gain notoriety. Rather than developing consumer cars behind a curtain so to speak, engineering teams can do it in the open and earn accolades for their work. I mean, who wouldn’t want to win trophies?
Auto racing is significant for consumers in this way, too, though. That’s because racing research and development often gets transferred to vehicles found in dealer showrooms. It was this factor that gave rise to the all-electric Formula E racing series. Carmakers are under the gun — due to global regulations — to develop long-lasting, efficient and powerful electric powertrains. So why not do so in a competitive environment?
This week we got a digital view inside the latest from Indian car brand Mahindra and its latest Formula E race car. The carmaker has decided to go with a single motor and single gear setup. This in comparison to the two-gear transmission it has run in the past.
Of course, running one motor and one gear is a weight savings, which is a benefit to both efficiency and speed. However, it has its drawbacks, since gearing can hinder off-the-line performance or top-end speed. Mahindra solved this problem, presumably through careful programming of how the motor sends torque the to the gearbox at various speeds. You can view Mahindra’s video here.
This development could help Mahindra beat out the competition on the track and earn the brand some much-desired checkered flags. However, it’s significant for future Mahindra electric car consumers because it means their next EV might well adopt this single motor, single gear setup. Thereby allowing them to go further with less energy.