As a brand new Formula E season is about to begin this Saturday, fans across the world will get to feast their eyes on 22 new Gen2 cars, new tracks, new rules and even new drivers.
Among those new pieces of machinery is the DS E-TENSE FE19, built entirely in-house by DS Automobiles in Versailles just outside of Paris. The FE19 is said to have a power output of 338 HP and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.8 seconds.
Behind the wheel of this battery-electric racer will be DS Techeetah drivers Andre Lotterer and reigning Formula E champion, Jean-Eric Vergne. The pair won’t even have to swap cars anymore during races, as the larger 52 kWh battery should go the distance.
Another innovation is Attack Mode, which temporarily increases the power level from 200 kW (in race mode) to 225 kW for a brief period of time, helping drivers overtake. Somewhat similar to Formula One’s DRS system, Formula E drivers will need to go through an activation zone in order to gain access to this new mode. Unlike in F1 though, Formula E drivers will have to leave the racing line in order to activate the system.
“For someone who’s been with the series since pretty much the start, I’ve personally seen how Formula E has taken big strides – not only with the performance of the car, but by implementing new ideas that continue to promote close racing such as Attack Mode. As drivers we want to be able to race hard and the fans want that too,” stated Jean-Eric Vergne.
Saturday’s Formula E season opener takes place on the new 2.5 km (1.55 mile) street circuit of Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia.