In Q4 2023, we reached valuable milestones on the way to the next prototypes: the start of test drives with the driver test vehicle (FET).

These enabled us to validate the frame, the chassis parts and also the steering geometry.

An earlier design was used for the steering, which is already largely convincing. The design for the series version just needs a final polish. The near-production steering will no longer be used in the bolted frame of the FET, but only in the near-production frame of the prototype, which is currently undergoing its final development loop.

The lordosis area – the natural curvature of the spine in the cervical and lumbar spine area – of the new seat geometry proved to be comfortable and sufficiently pronounced during the rides. Overall, however, the current seats do not provide enough lateral support when cornering. Before the molds are commissioned for series production, the geometry of the seat shell will be given a more pronounced side bolster with its own upholstered surfaces.

The seat shells in the driver test carrier

When looking at the CAD data, we previously assumed that there was too little space for the swivel range of the arms when steering. However, practical experience from the test drives shows that the original concern was unfounded and the elbows retain sufficient space.

Updated construction drawing

Despite initial hurdles, software updates can now also be installed without any problems and will allow the extensive functions of the future production vehicle to be successively installed and tested over the next few weeks. The next major goal is the construction of series frames and their gradual completion into near-series prototypes.

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