Automotive parts maker Schaeffler may have built its name on bearings, but the company has been steadily increasing its expertise in the development of electric powertrains, as a technology partner in Porsche’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) effort and the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E team. Now, Schaeffler is putting all that expertise in the new 4ePerformance concept.

Developed as a rolling showcase of its electric propulsion technology, the 4ePerformance is based on the Audi RS3 and features not one, not two, but four motors from the ABT Schaeffler FE01 Formula E racer, each already producing a not-inconsequential 220 kW (295 hp). Together, then, they deliver a total system output of a staggering 880 kW (1,180 hp), enough to launch it from zero to 200 km/h in just seven seconds.

Those four electric motors, which drive all four wheels via a spur gear unit on each corner and are housed in a single gearbox housing on each axle, not only provides the muscle but also enables real torque vectoring on each wheel. Juicing them are two batteries with a total capacity of 64 kWh.

“For Schaeffler, this vehicle is a test laboratory on wheels thanks to its free scaling options for the drive power,” said director of special projects and motorsports Simon Opel. “We are currently testing and developing our own driving dynamics control system, which is based on physical vehicle and wheel modeling. We have been learning a lot especially in the area of software-based driving dynamics control systems.”

The car was built to apply the lessons Schaeffler learnt in the motorsports arena and apply them to a production vehicle, using its knowledge of comprehensive systems, drives, and software and battery management. Developed from a joint idea by driver Lucas di Grassi and the company’s CTO Peter Gutzmer, the project involved Schaeffler Motorsports, the Schaeffler E-Mobility business division, and subsidiaries Schaeffler Engineering and Compact Dynamics, with ABT Sportsline also lending expertise.

“In the same way as Schaeffler has contributed its technical expertise to Formula E from the very beginning, it also plays a pioneering role and is a partner for components and complete system solutions when it comes to applying electric mobility to volume production vehicles and putting them on the road,” said Gutzmer.