Seeking to extend the range of electric vehicles while enhancing stopping power and overall efficiency, automotive supplier Continental unveiled its New Wheel Concept prior to demonstrating this advanced regenerative braking system next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show. In addition to trimming unsprung weight, Continental says this revolutionary aluminum-intensive design increases the level of energy recaptured while eliminating rust and corrosion problems associated with traditional cast-iron rotors. The global automotive supplier also claims its New Wheel Concept minimizes and simplifies normal pad and rotor servicing.

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Intended for use on compact and midsize vehicles, Continental’s New Wheel Concept features a two-piece wheel with an aluminum “star” carrier that’s permanently bolted to the hub and the exterior rim element. The brake itself is affixed to the wheel carrier on the axle and grabs the aluminum brake disc–which also bolts to the star element–from the inside, a design that allows for the use of a larger-diameter, more efficient disc. Combined with relatively low clamping forces required by the New Wheel Concept, the system boasts impressive stopping performance and enhanced heat dissipation.

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Paul Linhoff, Head of Brake Pre-Development in the Chassis & Safety Business Unit at Continental points out two additional upsides. “Because the brake disc is fixed on the outside and the brake engages from the inside, the caliper can be designed particularly light and stiff. The force is transmitted largely symmetrically into the center of the axle, and this has a favorable effect on the noise behavior of the brake.” No word yet as to when the New Wheel System will be fitted to a production EV model.

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