Ghost of GT-R in Nissan's new e-4ORCE tech

Ghost of GT-R in Nissan's new e-4ORCE tech

Wednesday 8th January

Ghost of GT-R in Nissan's new e-4ORCE tech

Firm uses ATTESA E-TS to inform its new twin-motor all-wheel-control system



It’s a mark of just how far ahead of its time the R35 GT-R was when it landed in 2007 that it’s still influencing Nissan's future lineup over a decade later. Specifically it's the super-coupe’s all-wheel drive system - and the many lessons learned in perfecting it - which has led to the development of new EV driveline hardware called e-4ORCE. Nissan says that the latest tech can send torque instantly to all four wheels to provide β€œbalanced, predictable power and handling on par with many premium sports cars”. The brand’s demonstrated the system in a modified Nissan Leaf development car at Las Vegas’s CES.

We'll resist the temptation to draw definitive links between Godzilla and a family-sized EV, but the supplied images do seem to hint at a newfound appetite for corner-taking. And it must be said, it's a characteristic that the much quicker and more expensive Porsche Taycan proved comes quite naturally to EVs when they’re equipped with sophisticated torque-distributing hardware. As Dan found out in our recent video, such technology makes for exceptional car control.


Nissan’s system actually goes one step further than Porsche’s, because along with the benefits to traction and on-throttle agility provided by the instantaneous juggling of torque, e-4ORCE is also said to improve ride. Seriously. Apparently it's thanks to the driveline’s regenerative braking tech, which can shuffle its efforts around the car in order to counter pitch and lean. It’s effective in slow speed traffic, with Nissan claiming to make β€œstop-and-go traffic less jostling”, as well as on rough surfaces, where β€œmotor control is optimised to maintain ride comfort by minimising irregular movement.” Genius. Potentially at least.

So what does this mean for the future of the driver’s car? Along with sister company Renault, Nissan has long had its eye on producing peppy electric machinery. Renault is set to succeed the Clio RS with a hot Zoe, while Nissan’s best-selling EV (which remains the world’s best-selling electric car) is already capable of hitting 62mph in just 7.3 seconds in top, 217hp form, and it even has an optional Nismo body kit. We’re likely looking at the first tangible example of a sporting Nissan EV’s driveline, then. And plausibly the first step toward an electrified R36 GT-R. If wishing makes it so.


Search for a Nissan GT-R here



Author
Discussion

samoht

Original Poster:

1,099 posts

95 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all

Just a note, ATTESA-ETS goes back to August 1989 with the first 4WD GTR, the R32; so Nissan have now over thirty years' experience of trying to work out the optimal way to divide torque between a car's four wheels dynamically, albeit limited to what was practical with an electronically controlled mechanical diff.

The new wave of pure electric torque manipulation opportunities is really interesting, since it represents new possibilities for how cars can handle and ride; I think Mazda are working along similar lines too.

Tri_Doc

549 posts

83 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
Someone commented a while back on here that by having electronic control over drive on individual wheels, the potential for handling applications are exciting, particularly if you could 'map' in different handling settings. This might, with a neutral chassis, potentially allow one to dramatically change the way a car drives and mimic the handling from other vehicles at the push of a button. Add in a bit of sound synth and electronically adjustable suspension components - rear stear, hydraulic/electric geometry adjustment, and potentially cars in the future might be able to mimic some greats from the past. Or it will just be a pile of w**k.

C7 JFW

1,044 posts

168 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
I think enough people are invested in Nissan's future to ensure some sensational electric cars are produced, what I hope they master more than anything, is delivering a drive that rewards, rather than selecting 'go' and the car fixing so much of the poor input provided by the driver that you're unable to deliver a perfectly-balanced drive.

Electronic aids should not just 'fix' driving errors, they should 'support' driving inputs.

Daston

5,612 posts

152 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
Tri_Doc said:
Someone commented a while back on here that by having electronic control over drive on individual wheels, the potential for handling applications are exciting, particularly if you could 'map' in different handling settings. This might, with a neutral chassis, potentially allow one to dramatically change the way a car drives and mimic the handling from other vehicles at the push of a button. Add in a bit of sound synth and electronically adjustable suspension components - rear stear, hydraulic/electric geometry adjustment, and potentially cars in the future might be able to mimic some greats from the past. Or it will just be a pile of w**k.
I am going with your latter thought, the car will still weigh the same as a small moon and as the power source will always be in the floor pan it wont be able to mimic the shift in weight that you get with Rear, Mid and front engine cars.

Actually thinking about it when it all goes that way what the hell is the point in a sports car as they will all sound dull, all have the weight in the same place and all have pretty much the same performance, it will just be a slightly different bit of metal to look at.

herebebeasties

446 posts

168 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
Daston said:
Tri_Doc said:
Someone commented a while back on here that by having electronic control over drive on individual wheels, the potential for handling applications are exciting, particularly if you could 'map' in different handling settings. This might, with a neutral chassis, potentially allow one to dramatically change the way a car drives and mimic the handling from other vehicles at the push of a button. Add in a bit of sound synth and electronically adjustable suspension components - rear stear, hydraulic/electric geometry adjustment, and potentially cars in the future might be able to mimic some greats from the past. Or it will just be a pile of w**k.
I am going with your latter thought, the car will still weigh the same as a small moon and as the power source will always be in the floor pan it wont be able to mimic the shift in weight that you get with Rear, Mid and front engine cars.

Actually thinking about it when it all goes that way what the hell is the point in a sports car as they will all sound dull, all have the weight in the same place and all have pretty much the same performance, it will just be a slightly different bit of metal to look at.
What is the "shift in weight", exactly, when it comes to "mimicking" behaviour of other cars? I presume you interpret it as a driver via steering feel/weight changes/unloading, and via yawing sensations caused by the relative slip angles of the tyres. I imagine that with torque control at each wheel that is controllable accurately/fast enough, and with electric steering assistance, there's no reason why you can't simulate / recreate that fairly accurately, provided you can get the entire system mapped well enough (which will obviously be a challenge). I don't think the fundamental weight placement will really matter that much, except perhaps that light mid-engined cars have a much lower polar moment of inertia than current electric vehicles, which might make the feel of fast direction changes harder to build in (although active anti-roll systems can probably help here). The main initial barrier is probably cost - not enough consumers probably care to invest the time and effort, although as the tech matures that will likely change.

I think supercars have got to the "all have the weight in the same place and all have pretty much the same performance" stage already, no? Powerful sports saloons certainly have (they're now even pretty much all four wheel drive).

Edited by herebebeasties on Thursday 9th January 12:41