Car manufacturers are engaged in a race to create electric vehicles (EVs) with the most impressive acceleration, but some automakers are realizing that extreme acceleration may not be the ultimate goal for every consumer. Steve Swift, director of vehicle engineering at Polestar, believes that this obsession with brutal acceleration is simply a quirk of the early stages of widespread EV adoption. According to Swift, while it may be impressive to accelerate as fast as you can do an emergency stop, it can also become disorientating for the driver.
Rolls-Royce, for example, has recently launched an EV called the Spectre coupe. However, Mihiar Ayoubi, the director of engineering at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, explains that Rolls-Royce owners prioritize ride comfort over extreme acceleration. Ayoubi emphasizes that there is a timing built into the human body, and this must be considered to achieve optimal comfort. Rolls-Royce has strived to achieve something it calls “waftability,” which is a natural feeling of acceleration that is not too jarring or abrupt. The company has calculated the appropriate delay to cancel the mass of the car and ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.
Car manufacturers like Volvo are also taking a more balanced approach. While they offer dual electric motor versions of their vehicles that can achieve impressive acceleration, they recognize that this is more of a gimmick and not a practical feature that owners will use frequently.
In the world of motorsport, precision timing is crucial, and lap times and acceleration speeds are measured in increments of seconds. This level of precision has now been transferred to road cars, with many luxury and sports cars featuring sophisticated in-built telemetry systems that allow owners to monitor every aspect of their driving.
Ultimately, car manufacturers are realizing that extreme acceleration is not the ultimate goal for all consumers. Comfort and a smooth driving experience are becoming increasingly important in the design of EVs, striking a balance between impressive performance and a rewarding driving experience.
– Steve Swift, director of vehicle engineering at Polestar
– Mihiar Ayoubi, director of engineering at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
– Rolls-Royce Spectre coupe advertisement
– Volvo dual electric motor version of the EX30 SUV advertisement
– Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull F1 teams
– Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen F1 drivers
– Valtteri Bottas, former Williams-Mercedes F1 driver
– Brad Binder, MotoGP rider
– Porsche Sport Chrono clock and timer
– Ferrari F8 onboard systems with telemetry functionality