BMW’s next i3 electric car will take its cues from their brand new Formula E race car.
If you haven’t heard of Formula E, that’s because it’s not particularly popular here in the US yet, but it’s growing in popularity in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. As the name suggests, it’s an entirely electric racing division, where drivers pilot specially made battery-powered race cars that look like Formula One cars, only just a little more bonkers.
BMW has recently announced their entry to Formula E with a brand new racer that looks out of this world. It wears the standard blue, white, and black livery that we’ve seen most BMW racing teams wear, which looks amazing covering the futuristic lines of the Formula E cart.
As much as Formula E will be about fun and advertising, BMW says it’s also about developing the next generation of electric road cars. Sources speaking to Top Gear say that BMW has plans to use the new Formula E powertrain in the next generation of i3 electric city cars.
This actually makes a lot of sense when you look at their explanation. The same team that worked on the current generation of i3 also worked on the Formula E racer. They also say that the i3 is a little underpowered currently at 170 hp, but will get twice that amount after gaining a redesigned powertrain.
The Formula E car makes about 335 hp, which is close enough, and would be easy to adapt to a smaller chassis like the i3.
If 335 hp doesn’t sound like a lot of ponies for a race car, keep in mind that the Formula E cart is extremely light: about 1,750 lbs to be exact. Those 335 horses can go a long way when all they have to carry is a battery, a driver, and a bunch of carbon fiber made to look like a colorful stealth fighter.
Here’s hoping that the new i3 takes more than just the powertrain of the Formula E racer. Maybe it can take a few of the aero elements too. That double rear spoiler looks particularly attractive, and would probably do wonders on a hatchback.