Ford has partnered with German engineering company Schaeffler to develop an all-electric version of its popular Fiesta light car.
Known as the eWheelDrive, the concept is driven by a pair of 40kW electric motors fitted directly to the rear wheel hubs.
All components required for drive and deceleration, such as the electric motor, electronics, brake, and a liquid cooling system are installed inside the wheel rim. Each motor weighs a relatively slight 53kg.
Developed by Schaeffler, the technology first appeared in an Opel Corsa concept in 2010. This latest version gets a sharp torque boost however, growing 75 percent to 700Nm.
With the rear wheels independently powered, the system also allows each wheel to turn 90 degrees, making parking a breeze.
“Thanks to this highly-integrated wheel hub drive, we can now re-think the city car without restrictions,” Schaeffler’s Professor Peter Gutzmer said.
“The vehicle platform provides maximum space for passengers, luggage, and for the battery, electronics, and communication systems.”
“Wheel hub drive will be a key factor in new vehicle concepts and automobile platforms in the future."
Ford has not offered word on production plans for the concept, although two more technology showcases will be developed with Schaeffler over the coming years.