DS Automobiles’ latest concept car asks us to imagine a future world where cars don’t have brakes.
Obviously the DS E Tense Performance is capable of slowing down, but it does it without the conventional braking systems we all know and trust. Instead of a regular set of disc brakes, it relies exclusively on regenerative braking technology to regulate its speed.
And there’s plenty of speed to regulate. The E Tense Performance was developed with DS’s Formula E team and employs the exact same electric motors that are fitted to the singe-seat racers. That gives the two-door coupe 804 hp (815 PS) plus a spectacular 5,900 lb-ft (8,000 Nm) of torque, and the ability to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 2.0 seconds. Make use of the 350 kW charging tech and you can fill the battery in just five minutes.
Regenerative braking is nothing new. It’s commonly found on electric and hybrid vehicles, but is always used in addition to traditional disc brakes. DS Automobiles, though, is looking further in the future and exploring the idea of doing away with conventional rotors and hydraulic calipers. The advantages to such a setup include a weight reduction from getting rid of heavy disc brake hardware (which on most cars usually include steel, rather than lighter carbon rotors).
But harnessing all of the braking energy, rather than letting it go to waste as heat generated from the friction of the pads pushing on discs, is great for efficiency too, because it can be channeled back into charging the battery.
“Formula E is about maximizing performance and efficiency, and the DS E Tense Performance is our vision of a road car utilizing our race-winning technology,” said Beatrice Foucher, DS Automobiles CEO. “Regenerative braking is a very powerful way to not only slow the vehicle down, but also help improve battery performance. The DS E Tense Performance takes the technology to a new level, with regenerative braking used solely to slow the vehicle down.”