The Model 3 may have met its match in the upcoming ID.7.
Volkswagen has published the first details of its all-new electric APP550 rear-wheel drive unit, possibly giving us our first glimpse of the upcoming ID. 7's output figures. Earlier this year, VW claimed the APP550 has the highest power and torque figures of any ID model yet, and it has delivered on that promise. Not that the Volkswagen ID.4 was that hard to beat.
The first units produce 282 horsepower and around 406 lb-ft of torque, which means they make more power and more torque than those in the US-built Tesla Model 3 (270hp/298 lb-ft). These new motors will be delivered in a yet-to-be-named car at the end of the year. Since the ID.7 is due to be unveiled any day now, the timing matches up.
As for beating its current electric motor, APP550 produces 81 hp and 177 lb-ft more than the single rear-wheel-drive motor used in the ID.4.
APP550 was designed to work with the existing modular electric drive (MEB) platform, which means it can just as easily be equipped in the ID.4 and ID. Buzz. The APP550 will likely be the motor of choice for upcoming GTX performance models, but with a different gear ratio to produce even more power.
The new electric motor is not just about power. It also had to be more efficient and work with all models built on the MEB platform, which will still be with us for a while.
"Because the available space has not changed, we were compelled to develop a new drive that achieves significant improvements in performance and efficiency in spite of being subject to the same constraints," said Karsten Bennewitz, Head of Powertrain and Energy Systems in Development, adding, "The result shows that we were able to reduce the use of raw materials while at the same time achieving a considerable increase in vehicle efficiency."
VW did not provide a value for the increased efficiency, but we'll likely find out once we know more about the ID.7.
APP550's higher output is due to an enhanced stator with more effective windings and a larger wire cross-section. There's also a more powerful permanent magnet with a higher load capacity. The inverter, which serves as the "brain" of the operation, has been tweaked to operate more efficiently.
The updated thermal management system operates without an electrically driven oil pump. Instead, the system can cool itself using the gear wheels of the gearbox and new components designed to supply and distribute oil. The heated oil is cooled by the coolant circuit, and the outside of the stator is equipped with a water heat sink.
The new drive system will be produced in-house at the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Kassel. As reported earlier, this will have a positive knock-on effect on consumers, resulting in increased cost savings.
"We have been developing electric drive motors and their gearboxes for 15 years now and have also been producing them here at our location for over 10 years," said Alexander Krick, Head of Technical Development E-Drive, Power Electronics & Transmission at Group Components. "Drawing on our many years of experience, we optimized the overall system through, among other things, the use of special electrical sheets and customized machining processes, and were thus able to significantly increase efficiency."
We look forward to trying it out soon. The ID.7 is expected to be revealed this quarter, with sales to follow later in the year.
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