Le Mans Ultimate: The Hypercar Electric Motor Maps Explained

Feeling drained? Recharge your batteries by reading our guide on the Hypercar electric motor maps in Le Mans Ultimate

The beauty of Le Mans Ultimate is its desire to create a sim that is as close to real life as possible. This means the technical aspects of the cars and how they work on the virtual race track are not any different than they would be in their real-life counterparts as well.

This brings us to what is likely the most important aspect of the Hypercar class, that being the electric motor maps and energy deployment systems that Hypercars rely on, and how they impact the LMDh and LMH cars in several different ways to ensure maximum performance.

Specifically for this guide RaceControl.GG teamed up with Alen Terzic who has helped us by supplying all his technical know-how with Hypercars, to explain exactly how the electric motor maps work in Le Mans Ultimate.

Let’s get into it…

Firstly, What Are Hypercars?

Hypercar is the premier class in the World Endurance Championship. It was introduced to the series for the 2021 season, taking over from LMP1 which had headed the championship since its inception in 2012. 

The Hypercar class marks a new era of convergence in prototype racing, made up of cars built to either the LMH or LMDh regulations that can run in the American IMSA championship and the World Endurance Championship.

The most notable difference between the LMDh cars and the LMH cars in Le Mans Ultimate comes from their powertrains. You will need to manage the usage of your electrical power differently when swapping between the two different rulesets as LMDhs feature 50KW batteries, whilst the hybrid LMH cars have comparatively huge 200KW systems.

If you like, you can read our definitive guide on the entire Hypercar class in Le Mans Ultimate after reading this.

Virtual Energy & Electric Energy Explained

Whenever you leave the pits you get a predetermined amount of energy called “Virtual Energy” which you can find in the “Powertrain” section of the setup menu. It should be set to 100% as default and there is no reason to ever lower that down from 100% because it doesn’t change the amount of fuel you’re carrying.

Under it is the “Fuel Ratio”. That number simply determines the ratio between the litres of fuel you’re carrying and the amount of electrical energy you plan to use and regenerate throughout the stint. So a fuel ratio of 0.96 would mean that you will use only 4% of the available Virtual Energy as electrical energy coming from the battery.

Now, the combined power you get from the cars is in theory always the same. When the electrical motors kick in, the power map of the ICE goes down to match it and vice-versa. What this means is that it doesn’t matter how much available electrical energy you currently have in the battery, as long as it’s not empty and not full at any point in time.

However, you don’t want it to be empty because it means you’re using more fuel to cover the same distance, which would mean that you had to start with more fuel in the first place. That means more mass to carry around and in the case of consequent stints also a longer refueling time during the pitstop.

How Virtual Energy Affects The Car

You never want your virtual energy to be full. If it is full it means that you stop regenerating the power when braking and again – using more fuel as a consequence, just like you would if it was empty. It also improves your general virtual energy efficiency when you can regenerate energy that would otherwise go to waste through braking.

Same as in the previous case, you can also run into sudden balance changes if the motors stop regenerating energy in the middle of a braking zone. This is far more problematic because it sometimes causes violent snaps from the car – also depending on the car (more on that later).

This is why it’s important to start your laps and races with some electrical energy already used up. The last thing you want to do is brake for turn 1 of an official race and end up spinning the car because the regen suddenly stopped. We recommend setting the deployment to maximum and getting the battery to about 3/4 charge when you start driving.

How It Affects Pitstops

During the pitstops, the virtual energy affects the LMDh class more than the LMH class.

In the case of the LMDh Hypercars, if you enter the pitlane with your battery empty, you will be stuck in your pit box after completing a stop and you will not be able to pull away, this is because they rely entirely on the virtual energy to get going before the combustion engine kicks in, so make sure to always have some energy stored ready for your stop, you don’t want to be left embarrassed.

If you also enter the pits with your virtual energy at 0% in any Hypercar, you will be hit with a hefty penalty for exceeding your energy allowance limit. Usually in the form of a stop/go penalty.

Now For The Differences Between Cars..

In the World Endurance Championships, we have the LMDh cars and the LMH cars, both of which use the virtual energy and electric motor maps differently, we show you those differences below.

LMDh (BMW, Cadillac, Porsche)

The LMDh Hypercars deploy and harvest their energy on the rear axle, helping the ICE fill in gaps in its torque curve. They deploy their energy at all times (From 0kph), can regenerate at a maximum of 170kW and deploy at a maximum of 50kW. There isn’t a competitive reason to ever use less than the maximum amount of allowed regen – the deployment you use as needed to keep the battery not full and not empty.

As far as balance changes when the battery is full or empty, you don’t feel it much with these, apart from some loss in engine braking on the rear axle if the battery is full or some loss in torque at low ICE rpm if it goes empty.

One key thing to note with the LMDh cars that are different from the LMH cars is that they use electrical motors only to pull away from a stop in the pitlane before the combustion engine fires into life again.

LMH (Ferrari, Toyota, Peugeot)

The LMH Hypercars deploy and harvest their energy on the front axle. Because of the obvious traction advantages this would cause, they have a minimum speed at which they can deploy their electrical energy. For the Ferrari and Toyota that is 190km/h and for the Peugeot, it’s 150km/h (In some corners this is a traction benefit due to the lower speed in the case of the Peugeot).

Because the LMH cars don’t deploy the energy at all times, this also means that their maximum deployment is higher. They can regenerate at 200kw and also deploy at a maximum of 200kW once they reach their minimum deployment speed.

Unlike the LMDh cars that regen on the rear, overfilling the battery and losing regen in the middle of the braking zone can cause big problems in the case of the LMHs which regen on the front axle. It causes massive snaps and sudden shifts in balance, so it’s important to take care of the battery status.

The deployment on the front wheels can also cause quite a bit of on-throttle understeer and counter-intuitive shifts in balance in some faster corners. On a qualifying lap especially, we recommend even experimenting with turning the deployment off completely and getting rid of some unwanted understeer if that’s something you’re struggling with. In theory, you could also do it in races.

Check Out The Coach Dave Academy Hypercar Setups

Remember Coach Dave Academy setups are in the game entirely for FREE ready to use for every Hypercar on every circuit. They have been developed by two professional racers from the academy – Alen Terzic & Yuri Kasdorp – who have seen overall podiums and class wins in the Virtual Le Mans Series.

If you go back and read how the virtual energy affects the car you’ll see this is why all Hypercar setups from Coach Dave Academy come with a relatively high deployment rate out of the box, this is on purpose to help you at the start of the races.

Remember, you can generally leave the virtual energy regen at maximum, whilst only focusing on the electric motor map, which you will have to adjust pretty early into the race after the start because Coach Dave Setups has this at a relatively high rate. It will deplete fast if not adjusted after your amazing race starts!

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