I wish Formula One cars looked the same

A daring idea back in the early 2010s, the Formula E championship for all-electric single-seaters became a reality in 2014 when the first season commenced. Audi is one of the few automakers that battled for the win in all four seasons up until now, and it’s getting ready for the next championship with a second-generation race car. It’s called the E-tron FE05, and it was just unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
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The traditional front wing was replaced by a low and wide splitter, the nose is pointier, and the front wheels have full fenders.

The first major redesign of the single-seater since the series was established in 2014; the second-gen racer is a significant departure from its predecessor in terms of design and aerodynamics. While the outgoing cars look somewhat similar to Formula 1 vehicle with a touch of IndyCar design, the new car sports a more aggressive shell and much more extreme aerodynamics. The traditional front wing was replaced by a low and wide splitter, the nose is pointier, and the front wheels have full fenders. The cockpit is also different, now featuring some sort of outer roll cage for enhanced safety.

The side pods have been revised too and no longer look like those from Formula One. Just like the front wheels, the rear rollers also have full fenders. But, it’s the rear that’s radically different. The traditional big wing atop the rear fascia has been removed altogether, with downforce now provided by a massive diffuser that grows bigger as it extends further from the car. The rear fenders also act as separate wings, a design that reminds me of the Ferrari FXX K. It’s absolutely gorgeous for a single-seater, and I wish Formula One cars would look similar next year.

Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
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Most of the car is finished in white, with a green finish on the engine cover

Audi’s livery for the new car is also new. Most of the car is finished in white, with a green finish on the engine cover. There’s traditional black detailing all over the place, while the front splitter is yellow. Granted, it’s missing the red paint we usually see on Audi race cars, but this paint scheme looks cool too.

The new Formula E car isn’t just about new looks and aerodynamics though. It also has a more powerful battery and improved efficiency, which will translate into double the range compared to the current car. This means that mid-race car swaps will no longer be necessary starting with the 2018/2019 season. In addition, the E-Tron FE05 is more powerful than its predecessor. No specs are available yet, unfortunately.

Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
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The E-Tron FE05 is more powerful than its predecessor.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is one of three teams confirmed for next season, the other two being Andretti Autosport and Nissan. Audi also confirmed Lucas di Grassi as the main driver, but a second pilot will be announced at a later date. Although it’s been racing in Formula E since the very beginning, Audi has yet to win the championship. The Germans finished third in 2015 and lost the titles in both 2016 and 2017 to Renault. However, Lucas di Grassi won the drivers’ championship with Audi in 2017. Halfway through the current season, Audi is sixth in the standings, while its best-placed driver, Daniel Abt, is also sixth in the drivers’ ranking.

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Press release

While the current Formula E season is well underway, the future of the electric racing series has already begun at Audi in Neuburg. The first pre-season test of the new Audi e-tron FE05 for Season 5 (2018/2019) is coming up soon.

The futuristic design of the second-generation Formula E car is causing a stir. “Also in terms of technology, it proves the rapid advancement of developments in electric mobility,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. Audi’s new electric race car will hit the track for the first time this spring for pre-season tests.

Thanks to a more powerful battery and improved efficiency, the range of the Formula E race car will double. As a result, a mid-race car swap will no longer be necessary from the 2018/2019 season onward. In addition, the Audi e-tron FE05 has a motor with clearly higher power output than its predecessor. “We were all excited to see the new Formula E car,” says Allan McNish, Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. “It looks breathtaking, especially with Audi’s livery. Equally impressive is the technology inside the race car. Here the Gen-2 car is making another huge step forward compared with the first-generation Formula E car.”

The second-generation Formula E car was unveiled by the FIA at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, March 6. Audi’s lineup being showcased at its booth in Geneva includes Lucas di Grassi’s championship-winning car from the 2016/2017 Formula E season.

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