Race Cars Vs Road Cars - Developing For Harsh Environments


What’s the difference between developing for a race car vs road car?

It’s important to understand that there are very different goals in mind when developing for a race car, versus developing for a road car. A race car, such as in Formula E, is designed to last for 1 season; while the life of other race cars in motorsport can be even shorter. Your car, however, is obviously designed to last far longer, only requiring maintenance attention every 20,000 miles or so, if that, aside from basic oil changes. Though your car is designed to last a long duration for its intended use, it’s important to also realize that it wouldn’t hold up to the constant harsh conditions that race cars are subject to on a track. Maintenance on Formula E cars is far higher, with the car coming apart nearly every time they’re back in the garage. This is of course a compromise of balancing a light weight, good handling, compact package, and strength and durability.

In Formula E, tracks in Argentina and Hong Kong offer a challenge from a thermal management standpoint, as the ambient temperatures are high, while tracks like Battersea park in London have extreme bumps offering its own harsh vibration conditions. TE Autosport connectors are a solution created for the racing world, as can operate up to 175 degrees Celsius, and can be un-mated and re-connected at least 500 times. By contrast, the average road car connector is rated up to 120 degrees celsius with a mating cycle of 10-15 times, as un-mating electrical connections isn’t something that should need to occur frequently for road cars. Nearly everything in a race car needs to be able to withstand far more punishment than a passenger vehicle, yet ideally have far less mass.

While the automotive industry continues to evolve, TE is working towards solutions which are desirable regardless of where this industry is headed. As cars become greener, more efficient, and autonomous, there’s a need for sensors, wiring, and connectors to be smaller, lighter, and of course maintain reliability for the life of the product.

A huge thank you to TE for sponsoring this video!

About this video
Video by Engineering Explained
Duration 04:49
Series Automotive
Tags autos & vehicles

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