Formula E, the auto racing class that only allows electric cars, unveiled its second generation of vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show. FIA president Jean Todt and FE founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, with the help of a robot arm, pulled the covers off the Gen2 car. The series only began back in September 2014, but with electric vehicle market blossoming, it seems like the perfect time for the new vehicles.
According to Motorsport, the Gen2 car is faster, more powerful, and possesses a longer-lasting battery. The previous Formula E model was upgraded from 200 kW to 250 kW (about 335 horsepower). The new vehicle tops out at around 280 km/h (just under 174 mph) and has a new McLaren-built battery capable of storing twice as much energy, eliminating the need for mid-race car changes.
The newly unveiled top speed, however, runs as a bit of a disappointment. Reigning FE series champion Lucas di Grassi recently said he expected the car to be able to reach 300 km/h (just over 186 mph).
The Gen2 car will have a minimum weight of 900 kg—including driver and battery—which is up from the current 880 kg. The car will measure in at 5160 mm in length, with a width of 1770 mm. FIA has added a new mandatory head protection device they’re calling the “halo,” which loops around the cockpit. It is fitted with an LED lighting strip that will display race-related information such as the car’s remaining battery life and what power mode it is in.
Todt said about the forthcoming generation, "The FIA Formula E Gen2 really looks like a car of the future, and it's a car for the future. It's incredible to see the progress made in just four years - to double the range of the car and increase the power output is a fantastic achievement. With the support of so many manufacturers, Formula E will continue to push the development of electric vehicle technology, and this car is an important milestone in this journey."
It was recently revealed that Todt chose the Gen2 design and that Agag has preferred a different one before changing his opinion. Agag added at the unveiling, "This is the first time I've seen the complete car in the flesh and it's even more sleek and spectacular up close. If you were to draw a racing car from scratch and base it purely on its looks, you'd come up with just this design. Not only is it striking on the eye, the performance and range show clear progress in terms of technological development in only four years. I'd like to express my personal thanks to the FIA and its President Jean Todt, for their hard work and support in putting together and designing our Gen2 car. This model visually differentiates Formula E from any other single-seater in motorsport today. When people see this car they will say it's Formula E, it's the future."
The Formula E Gen2 is set to debut during the 2018-19 With Gen2 season. It’s clear that the series has its eyes on the future with the added power, speed, and bolder look. This should help add to the circuit’s growing popularity, which already has a moderate fanbase. Audi, BMW, Renault, and Citroën’s DS have already been taking part in the series, while Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Nissan are set to make their debuts during the upcoming season.