"Next year will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing."
We’ve heard that sentence uttered far too many times each year and more often than not, we attribute it to nothing more than hyperbole.
But 2014 will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing with the introduction of the FIA Formula-E Championship , a one-make, single-seat racing series that will be competed by electrically powered race cars .
The race car is expected be one of the most prominent racers in the series. It looks like any modern single-seat race car, but other than its aesthetics, a whole load of features about the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car distinguishes itself from the likes of those Formula One racers.
For one, the SRT_01E will be build using a Dallara -designed monocoque chassis made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. But more importantly - and something that will be unique to the race car - the SRT_01E will be powered by a McLaren -sourced electric engine that’s capable of producing up to 270 horsepower, although that output will only be limited to 180 horsepower during races. It’s not as powerful as those F1 cars, but what do you expect with an electric engine.
Despite the lack of horses, the SRT_01E is still expected to be really quick off the block, capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3 seconds to go with an FIA-limited top speed of 140 mph.
Updated 04/30/2014: Ho-Pin Tung – the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula 1 car - was invited to drive the new SRT_01E and apparently he was very impressed. Check out the video to see for yourself.
Click past the jump to read more about Formula-E
Initially conceived just last year, the strides Formula-E has taken in the short time that it’s been around has been nothing short of impressive.
Ever since it was brought up in 2012, the series has taken incredible strides in less than a year, none more important than being sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) as an official class of auto racing.
Formula E is intended to be the highest class of competition for one-make, single-seat, electrically-powered racing cars. It will hold its inaugural season in 2014 with in 10 cities around the world with all the races being held in street circuits. Among the cities that have already been announced as hosts for the first season of Formula-E racing include Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Rome in Italy, Los Angeles in the USA, Bangkok in Thailand, Beijing in China, and Berlin in Germany.
The first Formula-E season is expected to take place from September 2014 to June 2015 with a maximum of 12 races.