Formula E on the way to its 3rd generation

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the promoters of the Formula E world championship raised a (small) corner of the veil on Monday evening on the design of the future Generation 3 single-seater which will hit the track for the season. 2023. The first images broadcast do not reveal much of this new car which, as since the launch of the discipline in 2014, will be identical for all the teams and built by the French company Spark Racing Technologies.

By widening the eyes, however, we can distinguish a very enveloping body shape and triangular appearance that goes even further than the Generations 1 and 2 in the recall of a stealth aircraft, with large vertical rear fins equipped with flashing lights. leds. Formula E organizers claim that this single-seater will be even better suited to the city tracks that characterize racing, because it is more compact. We will have to wait for the first deliveries to the teams from April 2022 and then the first public tests on the track to have a better idea.

Gen 3 Formula E “front view”.  (DR)

Gen 3 Formula E “front view”. (DR)

Under the bodywork, Williams Advanced Engineering will continue to supply the same batteries for everyone. Only the powertrain (electric unit, electric current inverter, gearbox and energy management) as well as the suspensions remain the prerogative of each team to try to make a difference. However, in 2023, this battery pack will be more powerful, lighter and less bulky to guarantee more performance and greater autonomy.

More than half of the race with recovered energy

But it is in the electric motors that we note another major innovation. The rear unit with a power increased to 350 Kwatts (propulsion power of approximately 470 horsepower), will be added a motor on the front wheels of 250 Kwatts. However, the Gen 3 will not be a 4-wheel drive (this would have increased its acceleration capacities too much for city circuits with limited clearances) but a sort of “four-wheel recovery”. On each train, the pilots will thus be able to recover additional energy when braking, ie 600 kilowatts possible of regenerative power.

Currently, a Formula E completes a race with 65% of electrical energy initially contained in the batteries and 35% with energy recovered during the race. On the Gen3, the percentage of distance traveled with battery regeneration could exceed 50%, some racing engineers estimate. The ultimate novelty for the 3rd generation FE, the sole supplier of tires will no longer be Michelin but the South Korean manufacturer Hankook.

Formula E of Gen3,

Formula E of Gen3, « seen » from behind. (DR)

Finally, the FIA ​​wanted to push the efforts on the recyclable aspect, not only of batteries but also of used or broken carbon parts, thanks to methods borrowed from aeronautics. Six manufacturers have already signed up to participate in the first two seasons of FE 3rd generation: DS, Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan, Indian Mahindra and Chinese Nio.

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