“What’s the difference between Formula One and Indy?” If you’ve ever been asked that (by someone who has no idea about racing), it’s probably because, to the untrained eye, the cars look mostly the same – much as they do in Super Formula, Formula 2, or… well, any other single-seater, open-wheel racing series.
Despite updates along the way, that’s largely been the case in Formula E as well, but it won’t be for long. After releasing initial teaser images earlier today, the series organizers have now revealed the first full images of their next-generation electric racing car before it’s unveiled in full at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
And as you can see, it looks suitably futuristic – as would befit the fully electric racer of tomorrow.
Set to form the backbone of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship from the next/fifth season onwards, the Gen2 electric racer looks more like something that Batman would drive than what we’ve come to expect to find on racing grids the world over.
Just look at the angular rear wing and diffuser, the continuous horizontal surface extending from the nose around the “engine cover,” the partially covered wheels, and of course the halo device over and around the cockpit. Of course, the matte black and neon blue livery doesn’t hurt, either.
Contrary to most designs – which are submitted by chassis constructors and either approved or rejected by the FIA – this one stems from a more involved process initiated by the motorsport governing body, bringing engineers and designers in to work on the project.
The recipe will be supplied to individual manufacturers who’ll built them around their own powertrains, taking a big leap forward in terms of manufacturer participation over the incremental ramping up of involvement that’s prevailed until now.
“This car represents the future of racing,” said series chief executive Alejandro Agag. “The cars will be faster and will have almost double the amount of energy storage capacity and double the range, demonstrating the continuous evolution of battery technology. Together with the FIA, we’ve achieved a great milestone with the introduction of this car and I can’t wait to see it on track.”
“These are very exciting times for Formula E,” added FIA president Jean Todt. “I can’t wait to take the covers off the real car when it will be seen for the first time in Geneva on March 6.” Neither can we.