Like it or not internal combustion fans, the all-electric Formula E series is the fastest-growing motorsport on the planet, as the growth of its ‘works’ manufacturers entrants alone should attest: for its sixth season, the series will see Jaguar, Renault, Nissan, Audi, BMW and Porsche go Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo in 2019. And were that amount of brand investment not enough to kerb stomp home Formula E’s significance to the automotive world, the series has now unveiled its brand new Gen 2 single seater, which is set to compete for at least the next three seasons.
Described as ‘Batman-like’ by Formula E series boss, and founder, Alejandro Agag, the second-generation single seater features a more aggressively angled front wing that blends almost seamlessly with LMP1/Le Mans-style covers over the front wheels. Safety-analysts will also notice the HALO cockpit protection device that will make its debut in Formula 1 in 2018, while at the back, the diffuser has reached Raging Bull levels of excess, while the rear wing has been split to really help those Michelin tyres to dig ever-deeper into the asphalt.
“Asked just why they should care, non-motorsport fans might want to take note, given that this technology will make its way into electric road cars.”
Built by Spark Racing Technologies (the hybrid and electric powertrain specialists founded in 2012 that also built the first SRT_01 E Formula E car), Gen 2 is powered by a brand new McLaren Applied Technologies battery that offers double the energy storage capacity – and, thus, double the electric range – of the previous example developed by Williams Advanced Engineering (see below video). It’s a move that effectively brings an end to mid-race car swaps that Formula E has used since its inaugural season in 2014-15. Asked just why they should care about that, non-motorsport fans might want to take note, given that, according to Formula E bigwigs, this technology will soon make its way into everyday electric road cars.
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Developments to the powertrain go beyond ‘simple’ electric range, however. Power in Gen 2 is also expected to increase by 50kW to 250kW over the outgoing car, and that, combined with the more aerodynamic design of the new model, mean speeds could theoretically increase from the current limit of 225kph (140mph) up to 300kph (186mph).
“When we started Formula E, our goal was to break the mould and challenge the status quo, bringing a revolution to motorsport,” Agag explains. “This next generation car represents that revolution. This car represents the future of racing.”
“Power in Gen 2 is also expected to increase by 50kW to 250kW, meaning a theoretical increase from the current limit of 225kph up to 300kph.”
Formula E’s new single seater will make its global debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show on March 6th, and, apparently, is the first vehicle to have been designed by motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.