After much expectation, the Formula E car that will contest the new zero emissions racing series starting next September was launched today at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Spark-Renault SRT_01E is a fully electric single seater racing car, designed aerodynamically to encourage overtaking, is built by Dallara, with technology input from F1 teams McLaren and Williams. Spark, run by ART Grand Prix’s Cedric Vasseur, has designed the car and assembled a consortium of motorsport technology firms to supply key components.
McLaren produces the electric motor, which has been developed for the next McLaren road car, the P1, as well as the gearbox and electronics. While Williams is responsible for the supply of batteries and battery management systems, which will produce 200kw (270 brake horsepower).
The idea of Formula E is to promote electric vehicles, particularly to city dwellers, as the races will all take place in the centre of some of the world’s lading cities like London, Rio, Berlin, Los Angeles and Beijing.
There will be 10 teams, with two drivers each in the inaugural series which will kick off in September 2014.
The car will run on 18 in wheels with Michelin treaded tyres, the idea being minimum tyre use, so that one tyre works for dry and wet conditions.
“With Formula E being an open championship, the series gives manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations and we’re delighted to have Spark Racing Technology as the first, and for them to produce our new fully-electric Formula E car, ” said Formula E boss Alejandro Agag.
“Spark has enlisted the very best companies in motorsport to aid with its development, with Dallara, Renault, McLaren, Williams and Michelin all leaders in their respective fields.”
Peter van Manen, Managing Director of McLaren Electronic Systems, which makes the electronic control units for all current Formula 1 cars said, “These cars are going to be brilliant racing through the centres of cities. Electric motors deliver instant torque and acceleration and that is what McLaren is all about. Performance and efficiency. Our electric motor, developed originally for the McLaren P1, has the highest power-to-weight ratio in the world. McLaren is proud to provide the performance behind Formula E.”