BMW iFE.18 Electric Racer Hits The Track For The First Time

Porsche and Mercedes are joining Formula E next season. But they aren’t the German automakers connecting to the electric grid. So, too, is BMW, which is stepping up its involvement in the series. And it just ran its new electric racer for the first time.

The new BMW iFE.18 ran at the BMW Driving Academy in Maisach, on the outskirts of Munich. Factory racing driver Tom Blomqvist handled driving duties. And along its flanks is printed its mission statement: TechLab for BMW iNEXT.

That’s what the Bavarian automaker calls its forward-looking electric vehicle project. And its first fully electric race car serves as its test bed.

“The BMW iFE.18 is a milestone for our company,” said BMW racing chief Jens Marquardt. “After months of excellent collaboration between the engineers from production and racing development, we can all now see the result in action. This Formula E project has seen the most remarkable technology transfer between production and motorsport in the history of BMW.”

The German marque has been part of the Formula E program from the beginning. But its involvement has revolved principally around providing its i3 and i8 hybrids as support vehicles. It’s now stepping up its collaboration with the Andretti team.

The iFE.18 is based on the second-generation chassis that the series organizers revealed in Geneva, but with the manufacturer’s own electric powertrain package. Compared to the i3, the iFE.18 is 50 percent lighter, 66 percent more compact, revs 400 percent higher, and produces 100 percent more power.

Once testing is complete, it will get its own unique livery to represent the new BMW i Motorsport program. We’ll be on the lookout when the series undertakes its next test session in Spain next week.

more photos...
  • R55

    Love the look of this thing. Although kind of what you expected F1 cars to eventually turn into one day.

  • Good luck for them, given the next season started 2020, it’s really interesting that everyone start testing this early.

Semi Smashes Through Concrete Barrier On Freeway, Topples And Hits Three Cars

This scary accident resulted in the injury of one person, who was transported to the hospital.

Heavily Bent Volvo S60 Gets A New Lease Of Life Thanks To Lone Mechanic

The man needed 60 hours in order to fix the right side of the car, which was completely bent out of shape.

Orange And The All Black: Meet T Sportline’s Widebody Tesla Model X

The carbon fiber body kit adds more than two inches to the Model X’s overall width.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Rallye Confirmed For Production, Will Be Ready For 2020 Season

The new 718 Cayman GT4 Rallye is being designed to meet FIA R-GT regulations.

The Grand Tour Is Back, Watch Hammond And May Come Up With New Slogans

Apparently #JustDifferentEnoughFromTopGearNotToBeSued was too long.

2020 BMW X3 M: Meet The New 450+ HP Crossover

The all-new X3 M could have a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six that develops up to 474 hp.

Hyundai And Kia Recall Nearly 200,000 Vehicles Over Fire Risk, Will Update Millions More

The recall impacts certain Sonata, Santa Fe Sport, Optima, Sorento and Sportage models.

US Government Shutdown Could Threaten New Vehicle Launches

Among the models that could be impacted are the Ram 3500, Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.

2020 VW T-Roc Convertible Is The Golf Cabriolet For The Crossover Era

VW is putting the finishing touched on the T-Roc convertible, ahead of its launch early next year.

Pore Over Every Detail Of The 1,000+ HP Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar

Top Gear Magazine takes us on a special walkaround featuring the Mercedes-AMG One.