The all-electric Formula E racing series is about as forward-looking as racing gets, bringing together automakers and EV part suppliers in a unique and fascinating zero-emissions contest of speed. But while Formula E has some new and interesting ideas such as the social media-driven Fan Boost feature, the cars themselves looked like pretty much every other Formula racer.
That was probably done on purpose to help people associate Formula E with similar racing series, but with Formula E now firmly established in fan’s eyes, the racing series is striking out in a bold new direction with its second generation of cars revealed this week. Looking as though they were ripped out of an episode of Speed Racer, the new Spark SRT05e not only looks futuristic, it also packs a bigger battery, more power, and better aerodynamics.
The new battery comes from McLaren Applied Technologies, nearly doubling the battery’s capacity from 28 kWh to 54 kWh while increasing overall weight by just 10%. Spark offset the extra weight with better aerodynamics, weight savings elsewhere, and a more efficient drivetrain. Hopefully, this means the new Formula E racer can complete an entire race without drivers switching cars halfway through.
Formula E is in the midst of its third season, including an upcoming race in New York City, and the new racers won’t be ready for primetime until the 5th season begins in late 2018. Once that happens, hopefully Formula E will start to get the respect it deserves.