Williams and Italdesign Launch Their Own EV Platform

Williams and Italdesign Launch Their Own EV Platform

04/30/2021

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and Italdesign are cooperating on a modular platform for building a wide variety of high-end electric cars. WAE was formed in 2010 from the Williams Formula 1 team, while the Italdesign design studio has been part of the VW Group since 2010. The companies say the platform can be used as a basis for creating sports cars, crossovers, and sedans, and it’s being offered to both new EV entrants and OEMs.

The core of the joint offer is Williams’ EVX electric car platform with a structural battery. Williams says the EVX platform allows EVs to be industrialized quickly, emphasizing “performance, flexibility, and business cases for small- to medium-volume production.

“The platform is made from recycled composite materials and aluminum,” Williams says, “making EVX lightweight and setting new standards for static and torsional stiffness.”

EVX can accommodate wheelbases from 114 inches to 122 inches and both rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts.

Customers will be able to choose the vehicle design and the powertrain. WAE says a version of its modular battery system was developed for Formula E, and can enable either a power output up to 1,000 kW or a 620-mile range. In addition to Formula E, WAE supplies batteries for the Extreme E off-road racing series and a new European-based electric touring car series called the Electric Touring Car Racing series, or ETCR. Williams says the platform is designed for battery sizes between 104 and 120 kWh.

Williams says its structural battery is new, and explains it this way: “Front and rear chassis structures mount to the carbon composite case and crash loads can be transferred via internal reinforcements to the integral side sills,” Williams says. “The resulting higher profiled cross section achieves much of the torsional stiffness needed to deliver the full potential of the platform.” So, the company says, there is less reliance on the “upper structure,” potentially offering more freedom in vehicle design.

WAE says the modular platform is “ready for customization by the Italdesign styling team, who will shape the final vehicle to match the brand’s requirements in terms of marketing positioning, design direction, etc.”

“Demand for high-performance electric vehicles is continuing to show considerable growth but to date, there has not been a complete EV production solution,” says WAE tech director Paul McNamara. “This unique relationship brings together state-of-the-art EV rolling chassis technology with one of the world’s leaders in vehicle body engineering.”

Italdesign chief technical officer Antonion Casu said the idea is to offer cars in the “GT, sedan, crossover, and convertible markets, fully customizable inside and outside. We are targeting business cases that will cover different production volumes from an Ultra Limited Series up to 10,000 units a year, 500 of which can be built by Italdesign at our facilities in Turin.”

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