Video: Is This the Quietest 200 mph Pass?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9bxwQeKhYXQ

The title for the first all-electric drag racing car to hit 200 mph looks to have been claimed. Is electric power the next big thing in drag racing? Ford seems to think so with their prototype electric Cobra Jet.

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GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
5/21/20 11:42 a.m.

The lack of noise- just coil whine and tire squeal- makes this spectacle just so uncanny. An announcer... just talking instead of shouting over high-lift cams and whining turbochargers. Nobody's wearing ear protection, nobody in gas masks near nitro methane fumes.

The future's gonna be cool.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/21/20 11:55 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Agreed. You can run and not have to worry about noise restrictions.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/21/20 12:21 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Like watching a giant slot car. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
5/21/20 12:43 p.m.

But I find watching things like Formula E racing lacks sufficient sonic drama - they are just a bunch of whiners (literally).

bgkast (Forum Supporter)
bgkast (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/21/20 1:09 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

The lack of noise- just coil whine and tire squeal- makes this spectacle just so uncanny. An announcer... just talking instead of shouting over high-lift cams and whining turbochargers. Nobody's wearing ear protection, nobody in gas masks near nitro methane fumes.

The future's gonna be cool.

I'm a big fan of electric vehicles, but if I'm honest I found the lack of all that made it much less exciting.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
5/21/20 1:41 p.m.

I love how you can *hear* the tires pulling themselves up off the sticky asphalt. laugh

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/21/20 2:27 p.m.
bgkast (Forum Supporter) said:
GIRTHQUAKE said:

The lack of noise- just coil whine and tire squeal- makes this spectacle just so uncanny. An announcer... just talking instead of shouting over high-lift cams and whining turbochargers. Nobody's wearing ear protection, nobody in gas masks near nitro methane fumes.

The future's gonna be cool.

I'm a big fan of electric vehicles, but if I'm honest I found the lack of all that made it much less exciting.

It's neat to see the tech, and frankly I'm kinda surprised it's taken this long.  Electric motors seem like they'd be a natural for drag racing -- much higher power/weight than gas motors, and you don't need much energy for a single pass so you don't throw all of the weight savings away by adding lots of heavy batteries.  Maybe it's transmissions?  I know Tesla was trying to get a 2-speed transmission working on the first Roadsters they built (like 15 years ago), before giving up and going with the single reduction gear that is standard in EVs now.  That's fine for road cars, but maybe not for 200 mph?

But yeah, I think it's going to be difficult to motivate people to buy tickets without the sound and fury.

 

tuna55 (Forum Supporter)
tuna55 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/21/20 2:40 p.m.

Want to make this progress fast? Add a subclass within Pro Mod, Turbo, Nitrous, Supercharger or EV. Leave the rules open for now other than the chassis and safety.

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
5/21/20 2:48 p.m.

I'm stoked for electric stuff, cars and bikes. But the few times I've been down to see the big boy top fuel cars run it wasn't just the speed, but the sonic experience, that made it memorable. Like getting hit in the chest by a sack of bricks. Unreal.
I think there is a place for fast electric cars (endurance racing would be awesome) but I don't think it's the drag strip. The competitive end of electric drag racing is going to be about as exciting as watching someone code. Cool to a few but not much for spectators. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/21/20 2:55 p.m.

Impressive.

Pretty anti-climactic though.  I am not much of a drag racing fan, but I do want to go see top fuel at some point.... for the sound.  I would have little interest in this, drag racing is already super repetitive (and generally predictable) already.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/21/20 3:25 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Like watching a giant slot car. 

I was going to ask: How long before they install a pair of electrodes running down each lane?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/21/20 3:38 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Or a source above like bumper cars. 

As a kid, I really figured we'd have electrodes running down the streets by the time I was driving. (Hey, I was a kid.)

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
5/21/20 3:41 p.m.

I think its really really cool, but yeah it is kinda boring to watch.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
5/21/20 8:31 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

I totally agree- the lack of noise and thunder almost makes it blase'!

codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
bgkast (Forum Supporter) said:
GIRTHQUAKE said:

The lack of noise- just coil whine and tire squeal- makes this spectacle just so uncanny. An announcer... just talking instead of shouting over high-lift cams and whining turbochargers. Nobody's wearing ear protection, nobody in gas masks near nitro methane fumes.

The future's gonna be cool.

I'm a big fan of electric vehicles, but if I'm honest I found the lack of all that made it much less exciting.

It's neat to see the tech, and frankly I'm kinda surprised it's taken this long.  Electric motors seem like they'd be a natural for drag racing -- much higher power/weight than gas motors, and you don't need much energy for a single pass so you don't throw all of the weight savings away by adding lots of heavy batteries.  Maybe it's transmissions?  I know Tesla was trying to get a 2-speed transmission working on the first Roadsters they built (like 15 years ago), before giving up and going with the single reduction gear that is standard in EVs now.  That's fine for road cars, but maybe not for 200 mph?

But yeah, I think it's going to be difficult to motivate people to buy tickets without the sound and fury.

The Porsche Taycan has a 2-speed. Tesla didn't simply because (at the time) nobody made one that could take the torque all at once, so they just made the AC motor bigger to overcome the lack of low-end torque.

The real reason is because of discharge rate, not battery capacity. Try to suck too much power out of a battery too fast and you hit voltage sag slowing the current, and eventually resistance will become too great and begin to melt it. You also need some pretty wacky controllers to shunt that amount of current, and at this scale they're typically handmade. What's really impressive is how far we've come in 10 years.

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/22/20 7:08 a.m.

Now that’s what ripping canvas sounds like . . .

 

dps214
dps214 Reader
5/22/20 8:36 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to barefootskater :

I totally agree- the lack of noise and thunder almost makes it blase'!

codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
bgkast (Forum Supporter) said:
GIRTHQUAKE said:

The lack of noise- just coil whine and tire squeal- makes this spectacle just so uncanny. An announcer... just talking instead of shouting over high-lift cams and whining turbochargers. Nobody's wearing ear protection, nobody in gas masks near nitro methane fumes.

The future's gonna be cool.

I'm a big fan of electric vehicles, but if I'm honest I found the lack of all that made it much less exciting.

It's neat to see the tech, and frankly I'm kinda surprised it's taken this long.  Electric motors seem like they'd be a natural for drag racing -- much higher power/weight than gas motors, and you don't need much energy for a single pass so you don't throw all of the weight savings away by adding lots of heavy batteries.  Maybe it's transmissions?  I know Tesla was trying to get a 2-speed transmission working on the first Roadsters they built (like 15 years ago), before giving up and going with the single reduction gear that is standard in EVs now.  That's fine for road cars, but maybe not for 200 mph?

But yeah, I think it's going to be difficult to motivate people to buy tickets without the sound and fury.

The Porsche Taycan has a 2-speed. Tesla didn't simply because (at the time) nobody made one that could take the torque all at once, so they just made the AC motor bigger to overcome the lack of low-end torque.

The real reason is because of discharge rate, not battery capacity. Try to suck too much power out of a battery too fast and you hit voltage sag slowing the current, and eventually resistance will become too great and begin to melt it. You also need some pretty wacky controllers to shunt that amount of current, and at this scale they're typically handmade. What's really impressive is how far we've come in 10 years.

Also the thing electric motors are best at is instant torque from zero RPM, they struggle a bit with top end power generally. Which isn't really much of an advantage in drag racing when ICE engines have no trouble using all the available grip off the launch, and then their specialty is top end power. In the video they were actually struggling a bit to get the car off the line quickly, probably something along the lines of what you described about controller capability.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
5/22/20 9:17 a.m.

In reply to dps214 :

The recent EV Mustang had to have 4 separate controllers for it's 2 motors, one for every 3-phases just to shove enough power into the thing. This link shows a picture of a 1,000HP 4 pole/8 phase Brushless DC drag motor connected to a transmission, just to give an idea of the sheer number of wires and amount of power flowing into the motor.

Transmissions in the EV world are gonna be weird with torque multiplication- it could also bring 3-speeds back a little bit, as rich rebuilds showed with his EV rat rod built from that Zero. On the opposite end, koenigsegg uses something akin to a 2-speed torque converter for the Regera's primary motor.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
5/22/20 12:06 p.m.

So quiet I could have slept through it.  And unless they can invent some way for the motor or battery to explode, there goes a lot of the drama.

I would argue that this is a lot more fun to watch, and mostly because of the soundtrack:

 

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