Quark and Terrier: Koenigsegg present their first E-motor and EV-drive unit with pioneering ‘Raxial Flux’ topology
Koenigsegg announces two new E-motor units and full drive unit, named Quark and Terrier respectively, both of which use a new motor topology, combining Axial-flux and Radial-flux, dubbed ‘Raxial-Flux’. The company just unveiled these 2 new products: the Quark electric motor and Terrier, a torque vectoring EV-drive unit.
The Quark electric motor utilizes a novel torque/power-rich balance between the common radial(power-dense) and axial(torque-dense) flux topology. Raxial Flux. Koenigsegg has also integrated two Quark E-motors with one David inverter, and using planetary gear sets, created the Terrier, a torque vectoring EV-drive unit.
If you are following the news on electric motors, you might already know of Axial-flux motors, which compared to radial flux, have superior power output for both peak power and continues torque, so this mix between both topologies is completely new. With it, Koenigsegg has produced over 300 HP (~337HP) on the Terrier drive unit. How does it rank compared to existing technology? Stick through to the end and find out.
Quark Electric Motor with Novel Raxial Flux Topology
For the development of the Quark E-motor, the company was seeking to continue its record-breaking legacy with Koenigsegg Gemera whilst providing the wider market with the opportunity to tap into an ultra-compact, torque-rich e-motor for applications such as EV powertrains, Aerospace, VTOL, Marine and more.
The Quark E-motor looks at magnetism, materials, cooling, and packaging from a different perspective than the norm, and hence its name.
The Quark elementary particle is the only particle to experience all four fundamental forces (electromagnetism, gravitation, strong interaction, and weak interaction). Given how it also relates to the mystery of magnetism, the name Quark rendered itself well for a novel E-motor design.
According to Koenigsegg the combination of radial and axial flux layout enables the best torque to power to weight ratio in the industry.
“the Quark is designed to bolster the low-speed range of the Gemera, where you need it, for brutal acceleration. The ICE then focuses on the high-speed range. What this means in terms of performance for the Gemera is a big power surge followed by a continuous record-speed push to 400 km/h without any torque or power losses.”Dragos-Mihai Postariu, Electric Motor Design Lead, Koenigsegg
For basic materials, as you would expect from Koenigsegg, the Quark uses 300M steel used in aerospace, and direct cooling systems were integrated to the unit for higher efficiency.
As E-Motor Development Lead András Székely explains, the company wanted to combated weight issues and went as far as using a hollow carbon-fiber technology from renown Koenigsegg Aircore™ technology used in its rims, wheels and more – in the rotor of this E-motor unit.
Resulting in a power density of over 8kW per KG, or a whopping total of 250kW peak power, equivalent to 600Nm of torque, all from a 30 KG motor unit.
“We not only overcame the challenge of the Gemera’s powertrain requirements but also exceeded goals of making it lighter and smaller than any electric motors in this class. The Quark presents new benchmarks in compact and torque-rich engineering with the first production version weighing just 30 kg, producing up to 600 Nm of torque and 250 kW of power. Without the extra driveline functions for the Gemera, the Quark can drop below 28.5 kg in weight.”
“The Quark is unique in its high efficiency in combination with its class-leading torque-to-power-to-rpm-to-weight matrix. This means, when using the Quark in applications such as marine, aircraft or VTOL, there is no need for a step-down transmission, instead direct drive can be achieved, as the RPM of the motor is right from the get-go.
Small high-revving motors can have higher peak power to weight ratio, but they need transmissions in most applications in order to get to the desired output rpm and torque, causing energy loss and adding weight and complexity to do the same job. So any benefit in size is lost. In other cases, like the Terrier application, the transmissions can be reduced in size and complexity compared to higher-revving, less torque dense motors, which is also a big win. I guess we’re trying to reach the edge of optimal in-betweeness,”CEO and Founder Christian von Koenigsegg.
The Terrier EV Drive Unit
The Terrier – A combination of the Quark E-motor and the recently released David inverter has enabled Koenigsegg to develop an EV-drive unit, suited to many EV applications. Putting together a two-Quark-one-David configuration, the motor unit is one of the most power/torque dense drive units in the EV industry.
In true Koenigsegg fashion, the drive unit is named, Terrier — since both the dog breed and the drive unit have a small, energetic and fearless demeanor.
Using compact packaging, the Terrier can be elasto-bolted directly to the chassis or monocoque, allowing for innovative, engineering and luxury accommodations previously unavailable. This property also reduces the complexity of added subframes or weight supports.
This is true Koenigsegg tradition, from the innovation, engineering, material use and the final product outcome above all. The company has successfully created a strong contender in this category of motors, and a fully packed- ready to use drive unit. The innovative Raxial-Flux topography made this particularly novel, and should potentially resolve a balance issues between power to torque.
How do they stack up compare to existing manufacturers? Not to bad, actually.
We previously covered news on Saietta’s showcase for converting a fleet of vehicles to their axial-flux motor, as well as Yamaha’s 350kW electric drive unit, for which we could not find the power ratio (or weight) anywhere. Other places we saw the axial flux motor was on bikes like the Curtiss, 4rged bikes India’s M2 and the recently revealed Tork Kratos. It was axial-flux motors that were in a major leader for e-motor topology.
The leading names in Axial flux motor (which are currently the highest density we know of), are the likes of Saietta UK, Magnax (Traxial) Belgium, AVID technology USA, Emrax Slovenia and others. For Saietta, the AFT motor line is claimed to surpass 10 kW per KG, Magnax claims to exceed ~10 kW per KG, Emrax’s motors produce ~7.4 kW per KG and AVID’s reach ~5 kW per KG.
Despite these numbers, each company has more tailor made motors for different applications, but all of them share the advantage of superior motor technology than radial flux has offered so far.
Let’s not forget that these companies are solely focused on creating these motors, which makes it all the more amazing to see the innovation from Koenigsegg. Bringing an 8.3kW per KG motor, using a completely new topology, is the essence of innovative engineering.