Audi introduces racing car for formula E
Audi and its technology partner Schaeffler have created a fully electric racing car, the FE04, for the 2017/2018 Formula E season. Gearboxes, suspension and power electronics are also a result of this cooperation. first test drives with the new components have already been successfully completed,” says Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport.
The design freedom in Formula E is currently limited to engine, transmission, the corresponding suspension parts and the software for all manufacturers. “The power density in Formula E between manufacturers, teams and drivers is enormously high. This makes the details all the more important during development,” says Gass.
With regard to the technical data of the vehicle, Audi was not overly talkative. Just this: The FE04 has a power of 200 kW; however, only 180 kW may be used in the race. In addition, about 100 kJ can be activated by the “Fanboost”. Fanboost is a specialty of Formula E: by voting online on the official race website or Twitter, viewers can give the three most popular drivers in the race an extra portion of performance for what is perhaps the decisive overtaking manoeuver.
The battery consists of a set of Xalt lithium-ion cells with a total capacity of 34 kWh, of which 28 kWh can actually be used. The charging time is about 45 minutes. These batteries are part of the Recharcheable Energy Storage System (RESS) from Williams Advanced Engineering. The car is controlled by a Bosch central computer. The special racing transmission has only one gear. “We don’t want to reveal any more details at this early stage,” explained an Audi spokesman,” because, just like us, our competitors are already working on the drivetrain for the 5th season”. At least, acceleration became known: In 3.5 seconds, the vehicle is at 100 kmph (about 60 mph) – that’s a little slower than in Formula 1, where the cars only need about 2.5 seconds to accelerate to 100 kmph.
In Formula E, each team has two vehicles at their disposal. The race lasts about 50 minutes. Around the middle of the race, the drivers have to change cars at a pit stop. The Audi cars will start under the team name Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.
With its entry into the electric racing series, Audi wants to underline the seriousness of its new model policy with an emphasis on electromobility. By 2025, Audi is aiming to have one third of its vehicles delivered equipped with an electric motor. Until then, the company also wants to develop more than 20 electrical and PHEV models and bring them into the showrooms.
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