2018 Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo
Launched in 2013, the Vision Gran Turismo program gave mainstream automakers to develop wild concept cars for the Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo Sport video games. No fewer than 26 virtual vehicles were created by more than 20 carmakers until 2018, with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Aston Martin, Toyota, Chevrolet, Lexus, and Bugatti having joined the ranks. Come 2018 and Audi launched its first concept car for the Gran Turismo Sport video game. But unlike the competition, the Audi e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo is a fully functional vehicle.
While most Vision Gran Turismo concepts were developed exclusively for the pixelated world of Gran Turismo, some were built as full-scale models, and only a small fraction had an actual drivetrain. But none of them were able to function as actual race cars outside the video game. Audi is the first to deploy its Vision Gran Turismo car to real-world racetracks, as the fully-electric vehicle will be used as a taxi during Formula E events.
One of the first manufacturers to enter Formula E with a factory-backed team, Audi is now the first carmaker to offer its customers and guests the opportunity to experience Formula E’s city circuits as passengers in the e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo. This will happen starting April 14, when Formula E goes to Rome, Italy, for the seventh race of the 2017-2018 season. There’s no specific information as to how you can sign up for a ride, but a Vision Gran Turismo concept that actually works in the real world is a might big accomplishment.
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Pops’ Rants: Lazy Car Design Auto Show Edition
Oh wow, the 2018 Geneva Motor Show was so much fun. So many concept cars that won’t make it into production, so many supercars that we can’t buy. Scratch that, and we’re left with the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 508, Volvo V60, Toyota Yaris, and some special-edition models that aren’t all that special. Oh wait, this year’s show was also about quite a few good examples of laziness in the design department. Nissan takes the cake with two different cars, but Mercedes-Benz also made the list with its latest performance car.
Nissan Shows Off Cool Formula E Nismo Livery in Geneva
A small series that didn’t get too much attention a few years ago, Formula E has become quite the big thing. Larger automakers all over the world are now interested in the series, with Audi, Jaguar, Renault, and Mahindra already competing this season. In addition, Venturi, DS, Nio, and Andretti run their own team. Although the 2017-2018 season is far from over, the FIA is already rounding up the lineup for the next championship and has already introduced the second-generation Formula E car at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Here, three competitors unveiled their liveries for next season, including Nissan, which joins the championship for the very first time.
Think Audi’s e-Tron FE05 Formula E Car is Cool? Check out the DS E-TENSE FE 19!
Of all the cars that showed up at the Geneva Motor Show, few drew as many curious looks as the DS E-TENSE FE 19. The concept race car is DS Automobiles’ interpretation of the second-generation Formula E racer that the racing series also debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. Make no mistake, the new Formula E racer looks radically different from its predecessor. It’s just that DS took that interpretation to another level with the E-TENSE FE 19. If you want the see the race car of the future, this is the version you should have your eyes on.
Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
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.
The fifth season for Formula E is upon us, and Audi Sport is ready to dish out some electric-bred hell on the track. In preparation for the fifth season, Audi has prepared its second-gen racer with a new livery that is just downright hard to look away from. Check out Audi’s latest twitter post below along with some higher-resolution images in the gallery at the bottom.
Audi Steps Up To Formula E With E-Tron FE04
The high-tech slab of open-wheel speed machine you see before you is the Audi E-Tron FE04, the Four Ring brand’s very first all electric race car. The FE04 just made its big debut in Neuburg, Germany, and will be used in Audi’s re-doubled efforts in the all-electric Formula E race series. That makes Audi the first German brand to enter the Formula E fray with a full factory-backed effort. Audi says the FE04 will be used as a test bed for new and upcoming technology that will eventually trickle down to its production vehicles, raising hopes that battery motivation alone will be enough to whet the appetites of future Audi performance enthusiasts.
“Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development at Audi AG. The brand says it’s planning on offering as many as 20 new battery-assisted models, including both hybrids and all-electric models, by the year 2025. While the FE04 will use a spec chassis, per regulations, the FE04 is still an opportunity for Audi to develop it’s know-how with a new electric motor, transmission, and some suspension bits, as well as the software needed to run it all. Look for the FE04 to make its competition debut in Hong Kong this coming December, with pre-season testing taking place in Spain.
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2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY
Jaguar’s “Pace” lineup has grown quite quickly, with the F-Pace winning the hearts of many, and the E-Pace – the baby of the lineup – coming to life for the 2018 model year. Both of these models, however, make use of gasoline or diesel engines for motivation. Recently, however, Jaguar debuted the I-Pace Concept, a vehicle that, once put into production, will sit at the top of the lineup with its sedan-like proportions and two electric motors – the same ones that delivered 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet in the concept. It seems that we’re actually getting a look at a high-performance version of the I-Pace long before we actually see the production car, all thanks to Formula E and a race series that will feature as many as 20 examples of the I-Pace eTrophy. Details about Jag’s newest race car are still predominantly under wraps until at least 2018, but we do know that it will be built by Jaguar SVO in the U.K.
With that said, the initial debuting of this new race car stands as an increased effort being put forth by Land Rover and Jaguar to electrify its entire lineup of new cars starting in 2020. And, with the Brits planning to ban ICE cars by 2040 altogether, the I-Pace and I-Pace eTrophy set Jaguar up nicely to be prepared for that inevitable moment 23 years from now. The I-Pace eTrophy also comes along as the basis for the world’s first production battery electric vehicle racing series – the first step in what will eventually redefine racing as we know it. But, we’re getting a little too far ahead of ourselves, so let’s take the time to take a look at the new I-Pace eTrophy race car and talk about what we can expect from Jaguars latest pet project.
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BMW Confirms FIA Formula E Championship Entry
The Bavarians are once again stepping up for a little wheel-to-wheel racing action, but this time around, internal combustion need not apply. Rather, it’s all about the electricity as BMW prepares a bid in the Formula E Championship. BMW just announced its intentions to make a full-fledged factory effort for Season 5 of the battery-powered sport, partnering with the Andretti Formula E works team for battle in 2018 and 2019. BMW will provide the team with an in-house developed powertrain produced under the banner of the newly created i Motorsport division, BMW’s latest racing skunk works, which will work alongside BMW’s M Division to advance its go-faster know-how. BMW says it’ll use the opportunity to advance its all-electric technology, which will eventually trickle down to street cars like the i3 and i8, as well as future models like the iNext electric crossover.
“The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at BMW i Motorsport than in any other project,” says Klaus Frohlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development. BMW’s timing coincides with recent rule changes that made Formula E participation more appealing to the automaker, including “omission of the car changeover” seen in previous seasons. Meanwhile, the Andretti team provides a natural fit for BMW, given the past collaboration between the two organizations. “I couldn’t pick a more prestigious or historic manufacturer to work with in Formula E,” says Michael Andretti.
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Renault Sport Trophy Series Scrapped After Only Two Seasons
The Renault Sport Trophy racing series made its debut in 2015 to much fanfare. One year later, the series will only finish out the 2016 season before it’s officially cancelled. The decision to cut the cord on the series comes at a point in time wherein Renault, considered as one of the most engaged and actively involved automakers in motor racing, is in the middle of reconfiguring its racing programs.
The French automaker has already exited the Formula Renault 3.5 series and with the abrupt closure of the Renault Sport Trophy, it’s once thriving Renault Sport Series program is down to Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. That said, the series departures doesn’t mean Renault is giving up motor racing entirely. Far from it, actually, because the automaker has increased its involvement in Formula E and has even jumped back into the Formula One fray as an actual team instead of just an engine supplier for the first time in six years.
Clearly, Renault is as involved in motor racing as it has always been; it’s just shifting its priorities from running its own make-series to heading back to the glamour and prestige of Formula One while also doubling down on its commitment to Formula E.
While it’s hard to make sense of the rationale in starting a hyped racing series like the Renault Sport Trophy and then cutting the cord before it can even get off the ground, it’s just as hard to argue against that decision when Renault is boosting its involvement in Formula E and Formula One.
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Mercedes Set To Enter Formula E In 2018
With its success in Formula One not waning anytime soon, Mercedes-Benz is looking to take its dominance in motor sport racing to a new playing field, and it may have just found one in Formula E after announcing that Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd has signed an option agreement with Formula E Operations Ltd that includes reserving a seat in the Formula E table for the automaker in time for the 2018 season.
Mercedes joins a long list of automakers that have signed up for Formula E, considered as the next big thing in motorsports that even has the potential to supplant Formula One as the pre-eminent racing series in the world. Despite only being two seasons old (the third season kicks off in Hong Kong October 9), Formula E has already attracted a who’s who of the automotive world. Audi, BMW, Citroen, Jaguar, Renault, Volvo, and even Faraday Future are already involved in some capacity, either with a team of its own or as a partner with an existing racing team. Meanwhile, Nissan, Porsche, and Mugen, Honda’s racing arm, have also expressed interest in joining the series in some form in the future.
The growing popularity of Formula E, combined with the platform it offers in the development of electrification, has made it very appealing in the eyes of these automakers, who themselves are gearing up their own EV road offerings. It’s a perfect marriage that combines competition and the pursuit of new technology, something that Mercedes is all too familiar with given its dominance in Formula One.
Formula E’s plan to expand its teams from 10 to 12 opened the door for Mercedes to get on board and while it still needs the go-ahead from the 10 existing teams in the grid, the German automaker’s clout in the auto industry and motor sports should make its addition to the series a foregone conclusion, effectively making Mercedes Grand Prix the 11th Formula E team.
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Audi Incorporating Formula E Into a Factory-Backed Program for 2017-2018 Season
Formula E is starting to take off in popularity rankings. Sure, electric cars don’t exactly have the soul you find in cars internal combustion engines, but it’s still downright invigorating to watch. If you still don’t believe that Formula E will be around for long, Audi Sport’s next move should put any reluctance in your heart to rest. Audi Sport has had a relationship with Formula E team ABT Schaeffler since the 2014-2015 season, offering up a factory driver and its infrastructure in Neuburg. For the 2016 – 2017 season the relations ship between ABT and Audi Sport will strengthen even more as Audi Sport will be providing financial and technical support. In turn, Audi Sport gets to display the four rings on the sides and rear winds of the ABT Schaeffler FE02 effective immediately.
That’s not all, though, along with this announcement, Audi has announced that it is planning to incorporate Formula E into a factory-backed motorsport program for the 2017-2018 season. This should come as no surprise as electric mobility is a key factor in Audi’s future plans, with its first all-electric vehicle to come in the form of an SUV in 2018. Obviously, there’s no better place to root your electrification plans than Formula E racing.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the Head of Audi Motorsport, said, “Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With Quattro drive, we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI, and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.”
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