Protean Electric dropped a video (above) of a test vehicle showing off the ability to make a "tank turn." Filmed on a frozen lake in Arjeplog, Sweden, the footage shows a NEVS 9-3 frolicking about the test course, drifting through some turns before getting down to the serious business of spinning in place.
If you're unfamiliar with Protean Electric, they are a developer of in-wheel motor technology and have been around in one form or another for well over a decade. Originally, the company was known as Hi-Pa Drive, spun out of PML Flightlink which had developed a "pancake motor" design, and was supposed to supply the powered wheels to motivate the beautiful but ill-fated Lightning GT, as well as the original Volvo C30 ReCharge concept.
Regardless of all that backstory, the video above is somewhat entertaining. Having a separate electric motor powering each wheel allows for some interesting abilities like four-wheel torque vectoring. One could say these the tank-turn is torque vectoring on maximum, with each wheel not only going at its own speed but also rotational direction. As you can see in the clip, it's just as capable of spinning clockwise as it is counter-clockwise.
While we're not sure there is any practical application of this party trick in a road-going sedan, it may be a cool superpower for off-road vehicles (the move requires a low-friction surface). Rivian, the promising electric automaker startup, has recently demonstrated this ability and we expect it to be a feature in some of its future vehicles, such as the R1T electric pickup truck.