Research Platform

The SpeedE project funded by the Hans Hermann Voss-Foundation focuses on the innovation potential of electrically powered vehicles in order to enhance the driving experience beyond today’s state of the art and create a distinct added value to electric vehicles. Together with project partners in research institutes and industry, the driving prototype has been built up at ika step by step in order to serve as a platform for development and testing of innovative components, systems and functionalities within a full vehicle.

To transform the driving experience from e-mobility into e-motion, the research vehicle SpeedE incorporates many innovative technologies like steer-by-wire, drive-by-wire and brake-by-wire. The side stick steering system comprises two wheel individual actuators that enable wheel angles up to 90°. The drive-by-wire system consists of a high-capacity torque-vectoring-capable electric drivetrain at the rear axle. Furthermore, four wheel-individual electro-hydraulic brake actuators are integrated and controlled depending on the actual deceleration demand. The above mentioned systems are integrated into an extremely stiff aluminium spaceframe. The structure of the spaceframe was designed based on CAE analysis throughout the complete development process in order to ensure body stiffness at sports car level and excellent structural performance even in harsh crash load cases.

[Logo: SpeedE]


Torben Dittmar Dipl.-Ing.
Managing Chief Engineer
+49 241 80 25620

Project Duration

since 06/2011

Project Partner

ika, fka, Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung, HS Pforzheim, Mercedes-AMG, Recaro, Ovalo, adcos, thyssenkrupp, Ashland

Supported by

[Logo: Hans Hermann VOSS-Stiftung]

[Logo: fka GmbH]


Current SpeedE-Flyer


2015: Recuperation
2014: Safety Concept 
2013: Front Axle
2012: Battery System 
2012: Design 
2012: Sidesticks

SpeedE Doppelseite cutaway 8

Since the start of the SpeedE project in mid-2011, the following milestones have been presented at the Aachen Colloquium Automobile and Engine Technology:

Aachen Colloquium 2011
SpeedE vehicle concept as design model
Aachen Colloquium 2013
Steer-by-wire front axle with 90° steering angle controlled by side stick steering
Aachen Colloquium 2015
Fully functional vehicle as well as driving simulator mock-up
Aachen Colloquium 2012
Side stick steering mock-up
Aachen Colloquium 2014
Rolling Chassis
Aachen Colloquium 2016
Fully Completed Vehicle with Exterior

In the near future, the driving vehicle will be completed by adding the exterior. The mock-up will be integrated into ika’s new highly dynamic driving simulator.

The project SpeedE aims at creating an open research and technology platform to combine the advantages of electric drivetrains with the complex requirements for efficiency and safety. To reach this goal, the competences of numerous scientific disciplines have been and are being joined – from transportation design and automotive engineering via electrical engineering and information technology to material sciences, ergonomics and psychology.

Thanks to this conception, SpeedE resembles a brand-neutral research platform to investigate new and innovative topics regarding future mobility. In detail the following questions could be addressed:

drive-by-wire systems

  • electric torque vectoring
  • investigation on drivability with regard to longitudinal dynamics

brake-by-wire systems

  • recuperation strategies
  • brake Blending
  • electrohydraulic brake actuation

steer-by-wire systems

  • functional safety in case of component failure
  • energetic investigations
  • feed back and feed forward behavior (side stick or conventional steering wheel)

New components

  • testing of new components in existing vehicle platform
  • testing of new functionalities in existing vehicle platform with maximum degree of freedom in developing vehicle control algorithms


Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika)
RWTH Aachen University

Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany

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+49 241 80 25600
+49 241 80 22147