Audi bolts toward Formula E with electric FE04 racer
Having dropped the World Endurance Championship last year, Audi has unveiled the car that will lead its factory-backed motorsports involvement in the world of electric mobility. The FE04 will take to the track in the upcoming Formula E season, making Audi the first big German manufacturer to have a factory offering in the burgeoning category.
The engineering team being the FE04 has focused primarily on the motors and gearbox. Given the series only really allows teams to fiddle with the motor, transmission, software and some of the minor suspension components, that shouldn't come as a surprise. On the motor side, the team is confident it has managed to extract maximum efficiency from its unit, while the single-speed transmission is all new.
"Together with our technology partner Schaeffler, we have developed a completely new powertrain," says Head of Audi Motorsport – and owner of the most ironic surname in electric motorsport – Dieter Gass. "You can immediately tell this by looking at the new carbon housing of the powertrain. The car also sounds different because we're pursuing new avenues in technology."
Although it has been involved with Team ABT Schaeffler since the start of Formula E, this is the first year of full Audi factory support. To signify the shift, there's a new white, green and black color scheme, along with more four-ring motifs scattered around the bodywork. Lucas di Grassi will line up with #1 on his nose having won the title last year, while teammate Daniel Abt will race as #66.
The 2017/18 Formula E season starts in Hong Kong this December.