TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -We think super cars, we think Italy, Germany, perhaps Japan, the US, and the UK. You might then be surprised to learn that there’s a new player to the game, one that hails not from any of the aforementioned countries, but instead from the small island of Taiwan. Should this surprise you? Possibly, possibly not.
When you think of supercars you probably think of the classic names: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche etc. These icons of performance, styling, and luxury have forever been the subjects of many a young boy’s posters all over the world. It’s with thanks to these legendary marques, that their respective countries of origin have become synonymous with the production of high-end game changing cars.
Taiwan is of course a country with little history in the way of traditional automobile production. However, we have now entered a new electric era; one which increasingly relies on micro-chips and semi-conductors instead of more “conventional” technologies. With Taiwan being well established on the IT map, so to speak, it becomes less surprising that it was chosen as the base for the EV world’s latest supercar addition… XING Mobility.
I first came across XING Mobility while making my annual tour of the EV Taiwan exhibition. XING Mobility had done very well to keep most of what they’d been up to under wraps, and so I was very surprised to come across such a stand out exhibit, of which I had no prior knowledge. XING Mobility was exhibiting two cars at the exhibition: an electric race car called Miss E, and an unconventional electric super car called Miss R.
The photo shows Miss E, XING Mobility's electric racer prototype (Image courtesy of XING Mobility and Sam Williams)
Miss E, a prototype, has been developed primarily as a test bed for XING Mobility’s new innovative technologies, of which there are many, being developed in house by the guys at XING Mobility themselves. That of course is the thing about the electric car industry; there’s little borrowing of technologies or designs; the required technologies or designs are simply often not in existence yet. This is an industry in its infancy after all.
Miss R on the other hand, is being developed as a fully-fledged road car, which XING Mobility are aiming to have in a final, completed prototype form by the end of 2017. I say road car, but Miss R will actually be capable of both on road and off road driving, despite being a “proper” super car, as opposed to a more typical purpose built 4x4. This rather unique ability is made possible thanks to the specially developed torque-vectoring gearboxes, which are partnered up with 4 independent motors (one for each wheel).
This allows for a much greater degree of traction and control under a wide range of terrain conditions, as it allows each wheel to be driven absolutely independently of each other. Revolutionary Magneto-rheological damper valves also operate at one per wheel, and allow for extremely fast and exact damping by using am electromagnet fluid combined with specially developed sensors. This allows the damper units to make up to 1,000 adjustments per second, which is quite honestly a frightening amount.
Now, I’ve mentioned the four independent motors and how they are each partnered up with their own torque-vectoring gearboxes to provide additional traction, but you’re probably wondering how much power they put out. This is a supercar after all, and Miss R would hardly be a supercar if it couldn’t deliver a befitting amount of power. Well, power is definitely not an area in which Miss R will disappoint. Each of the four motors is a 450v unit, making Miss R capable of delivering an astonishing 1 megawatt of power, which roughly translates to 1,350hp. These kinds of power figures will make Miss R one outrageously quick machine, and the projected performance figures certainly reflect this.
Miss R will apparently be capable of 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in just 2 seconds flat. 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) will be 5.1 seconds, and Miss R should hit a top speed of 168 mph (271 km/h). These paper numbers should convert to amazingly impressive real world performance by anyone’s standards. To make some sort of comparison, Miss R should produce more power, and accelerate quicker than Rimac’s Concept One, although the Concept One yields a higher top speed. Whether or not this will be important for most people is highly debatable, especially since Miss R has been designed with off-roading in mind, where extreme high speeds are often neither important nor possible. In practice, big top speed figures tend to serve the purpose of providing bragging rights only.
It’s all good having mind-blowing power figures, but this of course would all be useless if you can’t provide the appropriate and much needed juice from the batteries. Luckily XING Mobility has put extensive research into an innovative battery solution, which aims to shake up the industry.
The use of unique 'honeycomb' style battery units allow for optimum battery performance and configurability (Image courtesy of XING Mobility and Sam Williams)
Co-founder & CTO Azizi Tucker explained that “While there are other electric cars out there that are able to produce this kind of power, they are only able to sustain it for a short period of time as a result of the battery overheating. With Miss R, we’re able to achieve an honest 1 megawatt that can be used continuously by creating integrated battery technology that eliminates that fragility to heat." This is achieved by encasing 4200 lithium-ion cells in special patent-pending fully liquid-submerged modular battery packs.
The design significantly improves temperature control and stability, meaning that high power outputs can be maintained for longer, and battery lifespan can also be increased. Self-extinguishing chemical properties greatly reduce risk of fire and their unique building-block design and provisions for a second life make them easily re-configurable for other vehicles and purposes outside of the Miss R project.
I know that the guys at XING Mobility are extremely proud of this new technology, and it’s easy to see why. Electric vehicle performance has been limited largely by current battery technology, and XING Mobility’s new innovation looks like a promising step forward in resolving a lot of these limitations.
Sam Williams is a British journalist based in Taipei. He specialises in automotive journalism, photo journalism, and investigative journalism. Sam has previously worked with the BBC, and is currently a regular writer for EV Performance. Follow Sam Williams at @SSW_Media (Twitter)