There is no limit to the engineering brilliance of Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg !
In fact, a long time, it has been the home for novel engineering, and that’s evident in its new electric motor. Developed for the Gemera four-seater, this electric motor, dubbed the “Quark,” is a tiny powerhouse. In a package that weighs just 63 pounds, the Quark develops 335 horsepower (hp) and 443 pound-foot (lb-ft) of torque. For scale, that’s a 330-milliliter energy drink in the pictures seen throughout.
The Quark, announced Monday, combines both radial- and axial-flux constructions to offer a good balance between power and torque. Rather than explain the difference between the two, I’ll turn you toward this article from electric vehicle (EV) trade publication Charged. All you really need to know is that this is a best-of-both-worlds solution—Koenigsegg claims the Quark has an industry-leading torque-power-weight ratio. Those peak power and torque figures are only available for 20 seconds, which is common among EV motors. After 20 seconds, the figures drop to 134 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’s fine for the Gemera, which has three electric motors and a 600-hp three-cylinder.
“The Quark is designed to bolster the low-speed range of the Gemera, where you need it, for brutal acceleration,” Koengisegg electric-motor design lead Dragos-Mihai Postariu says in a statement. “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 [248.5 mph] without any torque or power losses.”
Naturally, Koenigsegg uses all sorts of interesting materials for the construction of the Quark, including aerospace/motorsport-grade steel, and hollow carbon fiber—Koenigsegg’s Aircore technology—for the rotor. The company hopes the Quark will find a home in more than just the Gemera, as it was also designed for aerospace and marine applications.
“The Quark is unique in its high efficiency in combination with its class-leading torque-to-power-to-rpm-to-weight matrix,” CEO Christian von Koenigsegg says in a statement. “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.”
Koenigsegg is also marketing an EV drive unit made up of two Quark motors, plus its small-but-powerful inverter, and small low-ratio planetary gearsets at each output shaft. The unit is called the “Terrier,” and serves up 670 hp and 811 lb-ft in a package that weighs just 187 pounds, and which offers torque vectoring across an axle. A Terrier can be bolted directly to a car’s monocoque as well.
More information on the Terrier unit is forthcoming, and presumably, it will be featured on future Koenigsegg products. As ever, the numbers are deeply impressive and entirely unsurprising from the innovative Swedish firm.