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As was expected, the Formula E championship officially unveiled its chosen electric race car at the Frankfurt auto show.
FIA President Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, revealed the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E fully-electric single-seat vehicle during the opening day of the 65th International Frankfurt Motor Show.
The SRT_01E has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, headed by Frédéric Vasseur, together with a consortium of leading manufacturers in motorsport, and will compete in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship.
What is known as the world’s first global electric race series will begin in September 2014.
Formula E said the SRT_01E aims to push the boundaries of what is currently achievable in electric motorsport, whilst ensuring a balance between cost-effectiveness and sustainability, in addition to coping with the demands of racing entirely on city-centre circuits.
The car’s monocoque chassis has been constructed by Italian firm Dallara and has been aerodynamically designed to aid overtaking. Made from carbon fiber and aluminum, the chassis will fully comply with the 2014 FIA crash tests.
Providing the electric motor, gearbox and electronics is McLaren Electronics Systems. Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams group of companies that includes the Williams F1 Team, is responsible for the design and supply of the batteries and their battery management systems.
The whole assembly is producing 200 kilowatt, the equivalent of 270 horsepower.
Overseeing all the systems integration, performance optimisation and powertrain electrical safety is Formula E’s Technical Partner Renault. Meanwhile, custom made 18-inch treaded tires have been created by Michelin, with just one durable tire to cater for both wet and dry conditions in a way to help reduce overall costs and promote sustainability.
“I congratulate all partners involved in the production of the fully-electric SRT_01E car – it is a fantastic achievement,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “The innovative technology deployed follows the best environmental practices, highlighting the potential of the Formula E Championship to spark a revolution in the development of new electromobility systems, not just for motorsport but also for everyday use. This new championship builds on the FIA’s traditional role as a leading promoter of innovation, technology and performance in the automotive sector.”
The car, which has been 10 months in the making, will be used by all 10 teams and 20 drivers competing in the new zero emission series although only for the first season as Formula E is an ‘open championship’ designed to encourage manufacturers to build their own car to help accelerate R&D around the electric vehicle.
“Motorsport is moving towards a greener future and the FIA Formula E Championship will be a prime opportunity to showcase the latest green technology that has its origins in motor racing,” said Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams. “Williams has a track record in developing hybrid technologies and we are proud to be supplying the battery and battery management system for the car that is being launched today. These components will be a pivotal part of what makes the car so green and the team at Williams Advanced Engineering is working hard to develop a battery system that is reliable and makes for excellent racing.”
The SRT_01E will now remain at the Frankfurt Motor Show for the duration of the event, with a duplicate car also on display at the FIA Mobility Conference in The Hague on Tuesday, 11th September. After that it will undergo a stringent FIA crash test followed by an extensive testing program.