TOP GUN - BATTERY ELECTRIC RACING CIGARETTE
February 19, 2013
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive was introduced last September at the Paris Motor Show. This gullwing coupé is pushed along by a set of four electric motors, one at each wheel, together providing a total of 740 hp (552 kW) and 727 ft-lb (985 Nm) of torque. Despite hauling along an extra 1,208 lbs (548 kg) of lithium-ion batteries, the Coupé Electric Drive does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in under four seconds and can reach a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
Having chosen the Coupé Electric Drive as the inspiration for the AMGCR collaborative project, the design team selected the Cigarette Racing Top Gun as the platform upon which to build an insane electric racing boat. The Top Gun is a classic cigarette boat that's been a staple of the Cigarette Racing Team for over 25 years. With a length of 37.5-feet, an 8-foot beam, and a static draft of 27-inches, your classic Top Gun is available with a pair of Mercury Racing 600 SCi inboard engines providing a total of 1,200 hp (894 kW) of pure power, easily pushing the boat into triple-digit speed.
Apparently deciding that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, AMGCR put not four, not eight, but twelve of the AMG electric motors into the new Top Gun. The boat's drive is organized around a pair of prop shafts, so AMGCR tied the motors into two clusters of six motors each, as shown above. Each cluster weighs some 600 lbs (272 kg), which saves some weight by replacing a gasoline engine weighing 1,267 lbs (575 kg). Each of the two electric motor clusters generates 1,110 hp (828 kW), putting the gasoline-powered Top Gun to shame.
This saving of weight, however, is quickly overridden by the 240 kWh lithium-ion battery packs that tip the scales at 4,840 lbs (2,200 kg). Containing a total of 3,456 lithium-ion cells, the packs store power at 400 volts so that, given normal efficiency for an electric motor, the maximum driving current is about 6,000 amperes. The boat has two chargers providing a total charging rate of 44 kW, taking about seven hours for a full charge.
When running full-tilt, the two electric motor clusters eat a prodigious 2.4 megawatts of electric power – roughly the power requirements of a small town. This means that the batteries can only provide full power for about ten minutes. When corrected for the energy efficiency difference between electric motors and gasoline engines, the full energy capacity of the Electric Top Gun's battery pack is equivalent to about 15 gallons (56 l) of
Mercedes AMG electric motors coupled as in the Top Gun boat left. A similar motor coupling arrangement
is used in the Blueplanet Ecostar design shown right (motors in red) to give the world's most powerful electric
car. This could be a hat-trick research year for Mercedes if they were to collaborate on the Ecostar Euro project.
Click on the car drawing at the foot of this page to see how this car refuels in between runs using battery cartridges.
Visually, the multi-award-winning design of the SLS AMG is combined with a number of specific features which are exclusive to the Electric Drive variant. One feature reserved exclusively for the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is the "AMG electricbeam magno" matt paint finish. The electrified Cigarette shares this outstanding finish.
The purely electric driven system is ideally packaged for the integration of the high-performance, zero-emission technology: by way of example, the 12 electric motors and the two transmissions can be positioned as close to the back as possible and very low down in the boat. The same applies to the modular high-voltage battery. Advantages of this solution include the boat's low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution – ideal conditions for optimum handling, which the electrically-powered Cigarette model shares with its petrol-driven sister model.
Equal to the road vehicle, the Cigarette boats high-quality, sporty interior makes use of this body color for the contrasting stitching. Cigarettes typical sports seats and numerous carbon-fiber trim elements in the interior underscore the exclusive and dynamic character of what are currently the fastest electric cars and boats. Behind the steering wheel, there is a newly designed instrument cluster: instead of a rev counter, there is a power display providing information on the power requirements, recuperation status and battery charge.
Similar to today’s boats with combustion engines, the electrified boat has two independent powertrains: they are symmetrically mounted on the left and right side. Each of the two powertrains has 6 compact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors with a maximum power of 185 hp (138 kW) and maximum torque of 184 ft∙lb (250 Nm) each; so the boat provides a combined maximum output of 2220 hp (1656 kW) and maximum torque of 2213 ft∙lb (3000 Nm).The electric motors are taken from the SLS AMG Electric Drive.
OTHER EV and BOAT RACING TEAMS
According to web articles in 2011 and 2012, Don and/or his son Joe Wales are/were planning an attempt on the water speed record in the boat (thought to be a mock-up) pictured below. We've not heard anything since, if anyone can shed some light?
In light of the Campbell curse, the fatal accident that killed Donald Campbell in 1967 and the powerboat crash they nearly killed his daughter, Gina Campbell, we take our hats off to these latest descendents of the Campbell clan. In 2011 Joe Wales suffered the collapse of his suspension while attempting to beat his father's British electric land speed record (now belonging to Nick Ponting and the electric Lotus Nemesis @ 151.607mph, sponsored by Ecotricity). It will not be lost on readers that Donald Campbell crashed his CN7 proteus Bluebird at Bonneville with near fatal results, putting him in hospital for some time, not long after which he was killed on Coniston Water in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK. Is there a pattern emerging here?
may be that the Top Gun EV has raised the bar too high. We wait with
The electric motor clusters used on the Top Gun are very similar to the arrangement in the latest Eco electric land speed record car: provisionally billed as the Blueplanet Ecostar. The Blue Planet team are looking for a collaborative research partnership with motor companies, universities, battery and electronics companies. The 'Ecostar' could be (by way of example) the 'Mercedes Ecostar'. The classic lines of the Ecostar are reminiscent of both Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar D type cars from the glory years. Match funding for such research is available from time to time from Nine Sigma and the European Community fund (Catapult). Please contact Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd or Max Energy Ltd to discuss the possibilities.
The Ecostar, an electric land speed record car incorporating battery-cartridge exchange for FIA approved
refueling between record runs. Design speed range 350-400mph. Ecostar uses motors in a similar cluster
arrangement to that of the Top Gun Cigarette, to achieve 4 wheel drive. Using Mercedes AMG motors
this design could have between 740-2220 hp (552-1656kW), though 740kW would be more than
enough to shatter the current World Land Speed Record. In true eco fashion, this green car is solar assisted.
This website is copyright © 1991- 2013 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The bird logo and names Blueplanet Ecostar and Blue Max are trademarks ™. The Blueplanet vehicle configuration is registered ®. The name Solar Navigator is a registered trademark and the boat design is copyright, All other trademarks hereby acknowledged. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity working hard for world peace.