Nearly every automaker – big or small – has at least a toe in the racing world. Lucid is part of that world with the debut of its new electric drive unit (EDU), developed specifically for motorsports. It's not merely a concept either, as this compact system is already in use with "the world's leading single-seater electric racing series."
While Lucid doesn't mention the series name directly, we're talking about the Formula E World Championship. The series has a new race car for 2023 fitted with a front-mounted drive unit in addition to a rear motor for improved regenerative braking. The EDU from Lucid combines a motor with a transmission, differential, and inverter in a compact package weighing just over 32 kilograms (70.5 pounds).
According to Lucid, the EDU has a maximum rotor speed of 19,500 RPM. It uses the same continuous wave winding and microjet cooling system found in the Lucid Air luxury saloon. The company doesn't go into further detail other than to say the EDU is proprietary and manufactured completely in-house at Lucid's California headquarters.
"With incredible power density of 14.7 hp/kg and immense energy recuperation, this drive unit will once again transform electric motorsports, following in the footsteps of our revolutionary battery pack in prior race seasons," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Group.
The 2023 Formula E World Championship kicked off on January 14 in Mexico City. Rounds two and three move the field to Saudi Arabia for back-to-back races in Diriyah on January 27 and 28. The third-generation Formula E car is said to be more efficient and faster around tracks, regulated to a top speed of 199 mph (380 kph).
"For Lucid, the transfer of technology between motorsports and road cars is a two-way symbiosis," said Rawlinson. "This new motorsports drive unit builds directly upon the groundbreaking powertrain technology developed in-house by Lucid and proven on the road in every Lucid Air. I’m excited by the prospect that some of the technical advancements introduced may in turn make their way to future Lucid road cars."
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