A new report from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo potentially provides a lot of information about the Apple Car specs. He reiterates recent reports that Hyundai will be the key manufacturing partner for the Apple Car, but goes on to say that the vehicle will use the company’s electric car chassis known as E-GMP.

Hyundai announced the chassis a couple of months ago, with some impressive specs. Range is shown as over 300 miles on a full charge, and fast-charging gets it up to 80% capacity within 18 minutes. You can top up the range by up to 60 miles with just a five-minute fast-charge.

Hyundai’s cited top speed and acceleration figures are also impressive, but those need to be viewed in context …

Hyundai’s spec sheet says that the maximum top speed is 160 mph, and 0-60 mph time is less than 3.5 seconds.

However, it should be noted that these figures are for “the high-performance model” of the chassis. It’s also not known what assumptions are made about the all-in weight and aerodynamic performance of the finished car. It might be that those numbers are only achievable with a highly streamlined, lightweight body.

The chassis is designed exclusively for BEVs – battery electric vehicles – and not for hybrids. Here’s how Hyundai describes it:

Designed exclusively for BEVs, E-GMP provides various advantages compared to the Group’s existing platforms, which have each been engineered predominantly to accommodate internal combustion engines. Benefits include increased development flexibility, powerful driving performance, increased driving range, strengthened safety features, and more interior space for occupants and luggage […]

E-GMP reduces complexity through modularization and standardization, allowing rapid and flexible development of products which can be used across most vehicle segments, such as sedans, SUVs and CUVs. Moreover, flexible development can satisfy various customer needs for vehicle performance. Among these, a high performance model will accelerate from zero to 100kph in less than 3.5 seconds and achieve a maximum speed of 260km/h […]

E-GMP is engineered to offer improved cornering performance and driving stability at high speed. This is due to optimal weight distribution between front and rear, a design which enables a low center of gravity thanks to its low-mounted battery pack, and the adoption of electric motors located in the space previously occupied by an engine.

The high-speed electric motor raises the driving performance of E-GMP vehicles. A five-link rear suspension system, which is typically used for mid and large sized vehicle segments, and the world’s first mass-produced integrated drive axle (IDA), which combines wheel bearings with the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels, enhance ride comfort and handling stability.

The platform secures battery safety through a battery support structure made of ultra-high strength steel. Hot-stamped steel components surround this structure for additional rigidity. Collision energy can be absorbed efficiently thanks to energy-absorbent sections of the body and chassis, effective energy load paths, and a central section of the battery pack tightly bound to the vehicle body […]

A standardized battery system can be tuned to offer performance appropriate for a specific vehicle segment, to maximize driving range, or to meet various customer needs.

Exciting as it is to get some tentative specifications on the predicted Apple Car, Kuo’s note does caution that it will take some years to develop.

We predict that Apple will launch the Apple Car in 2025 at the earliest. The new iPhone takes about 18–24 months from initial specification definition to mass production based on experience. Given the longer development time, higher validation requirements, more complicated supply chain management, and very different sales/after-sales service channels for the automobiles, we believe that Apple, which lacks car building experience, is already on a tight schedule if it wants to launch the Apple Car in 2025.

Kuo also warns that things could be delayed further, depending on the extent to which Apple wants to design its own components versus using off-the-shelf ones.

We believe that Apple will leverage existing automaker resources and focus on self-driving hardware and software, semiconductors, battery-related technologies, form factor and internal space designs, innovative user experience, and integration with Apple’s existing ecosystem.

Leveraging existing automaker resources means using a large number of qualified components from current automaker partners. Each EV has about 40–50 times more components than each smartphone, so if Apple wants to build a complete automotive supply chain on its own, the Apple Car will be released significantly later than 2025 and hurt the competitive advantage.

One issue may be how involved Hyundai wants to get. A report last week suggested that the company was nervous about taking on a mere contract manufacturer role.

Image: CarsUK

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