Porsche Boxster E Electric Sports Car A Hit At 2011 Michelin Challenge Bibendum

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The Michelin Challenge Bibendum is an annual event run by the French tire company aimed at promoting the development of sustainable mobility. At this year’s event in the German capital of Berlin Porsche rolled out its Boxster E electric car prototype, revealing a few more saucy details about its testing schedule and zero-emission future.

Porsche is currently testing three different Boxster E prototypes as part of the “Model Region Electro-Mobility Stuttgart” large-scale trial to explore the everyday practicality of electric cars and how they are used, especially in terms of driving and battery charging.

Common to all three prototypes is a mid-engine layout, which is retained from the production Porsche Boxster. Benefits of using this platform for electric car testing have been its relatively low weight, packaging attributes and low drag.

Also common is an Active Sound Design system that provides drivers with acoustic feedback as well as alerting pedestrians and other road users.

When it comes to the drivetrain, however, things start to change.

The first Boxster E prototype features a twin electric motor drivetrain with constant mesh gearboxes that act on the front and rear axles. In this way, the Porsche Boxster E features an all-wheel drive layout without the weight penalties of having drive shafts and differentials. To ensure stability and traction, a central electric control unit looks after the synchronization of the two electric motors and controls the drive torque distribution between the axles.

Peak output comes in at 180 kW (241 horsepower) and 398 pound-feet of torque, with maximum engine speed coming in at 12,000 rpm. This guarantees true sports car like performance, with the 0-62 mph dash taking just 5.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 124 mph, more than enough for public roads, and is achieved without any gear change at all.

Additionally, the high power output of the two motors offers a second advantage: it means more recovered power is available because more energy can be recovered during braking and thus an increase in overall efficiency.

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