Looking like a cross between a scorpion ready to pounce and a pretzel (at least from the front – I’m sure the designers were aiming for the former) the Spark Racing Technologies (SRT) all-electric Formula E concept is as striking as anything you’re likely to see outside of a sci-fi movie this year.
Spark is of course in the mood to celebrate and congratulate itself after winning the tender to continue to supply Formula E, confirming that they will continue to supply the race cars into the 2018/19 season. The concept hints at a wilder, more powerful move in Formula E, and reflects some of the rule changes brought in during the third and current 2016/7 season: Overall vehicle weight has been reduced from 888kg to 880kg and maximum battery cell weight has increased from 200kg to 230kg.
No change in maximum power output, which remains limited to 200kW, but crucially, the aim is that this will change gradually over following two seasons, with an increase to 220kW in 2017/8 and then a jump to 250kW for 2018/9. No mid-race pit stop also means that the car will have to travel roughly twice as far as the current version and run for approximately 45 minutes.
Spark Racing Technologies, owned by Frederic Vasseur, the former head of the Renault Formula 1 team, is currently in the process of designing the SRT-05e chassis in conjunction with the renowned Italian chassis design company Dallara. The new racer will now require a heavier battery (a capacity increase from 28kWh to 54kWh) to cope with the greater distance and run time, but the car itself will be lighter.
How much of the design of this concept is likely to make it to final production is unknown at this early stage, although one new feature will definitely be present, the extended ‘aeroscreen’, which is a new safety requirement.
It would be a very good move by Spark Racing Technologies to keep as much of the wackiness and edginess of this concept design as they move into full production of the SRT-05e. As Formula E grows year by year, it’s designs like this that will keep the interest and momentum going. Spark plan to launch the new vehicle before the end of the current Formula E season, so not too long to wait.
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