AUDI e-tron FE04 Formula E racecar debuts at Formula E Championship
At the 2017/2018 Formula E Championships in December, Audi will field its own team for the first time. They debuted their car, the Audi e-tron FE04, in September. Though the e-tron FE04 is similar to last season’s car, with a single electric motor and a high efficiency transmission, AUDI has focused on improving the motor for greater efficiency. This will benefit not only the Formula E racing team, but future AUDI models as well. The single electric motor will debut in consumer cars with the AUDI e-tron SUV in 2018.
Last season, AUDI sponsored Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport at the Formula E, with driver Lucas di Grassi taking the championship. This year, AUDI has taken over the team, rebranding it as Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler. Di Grassi will be retained this year as driver, but he will be joined by Daniel Abt and the 24 Hours of Le Mans legend, Scotsman Allan McLish.
Testing the AUDI e-tron FE04
Testing on their FE04 begins in October in advance of the 2017/2018 season opener in Hong Kong on December 2. Meanwhile, a bevy of other automakers are slated to join AUDI at the Formula E, including BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes Benz. Previously, BMW participated in the race as partner for the American team, but they will, for the first time, be heading their own team in 2018/2019. This year’s race will be a good warm-up to their breaking away from the American Andretti Formula E team.
Like AUDI, BMW is perfecting their electric car technology through these races, which the company called the “perfect development laboratory.” Mercedes Benz is also introducing new technology during the Formula E, while phasing out their touring series, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). Toto Wolffe, Mercedes motosports boss, said in a statement that the “Formula E … embodies the transformation that is underway in the automotive industry.” Judging from the new technologies that are being introduced here, that certainly appears to be the case.