The Panasonic Jaguar Racing team unveiled the latest version of their all-electric Formula E race car for the upcoming season of the racing championship today and confirmed that Mitch Evans and former Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. will drive the vehicles.
The Formula E teams are still somewhat limited in what they can modify in their race vehicles, but the championship is increasingly opening up the system with each new season.
Jaguar describes the latest version of the vehicle:
“The I-TYPE 2 is Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s all-electric Formula E race car. Designed to deliver the ultimate balance of power and efficiency, it accelerates from 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 2.9 seconds and can regenerate up to 150kW of energy under braking to extend its range. “
They released images of the car and its components:
Under its current configuration, the electric powertrain has a capacity of 200kW (equivalent to 270bhp), but it’s limited to 170 kW (equivalent to 230bhp) during the race. Formula E’s fan boost concept can enable the extra 30 kW temporarilly through an interactive and somewhat controversial fan voting process.
It’s not exactly impressive power, but it does the job for the 880kg (1940 lbs) vehicle, which is rare for an electric car (the battery pack alone is 320kg – 705 lbs).
Season 4 will start later this year and the next few years are promising for the Formula E as several automakers are joining as they open up their car platform for more modifications.
Earlier this year, BMW announced plans to enter the Formula E in season 5 with its own team while Audi confirmed that they are taking over the ABT Sportsline team, which they had been sponsoring in prior seasons.
Mercedes-Benz also announced that it will join the Formula E under its own team, but during season 6 in 2018-2019.
Teams currently have to change car mid race as the demanding performance depletes the battery packs very quickly, but the next generation is expected to fix that and automakers will be able to tweak their own cars.
Season 5 should also be the most interesting since the teams will be able to develop more of their own electric powertrain components. They will still all use the same chassis, but it will also be a new one. Spark Racing Technologies, the engineering firm behind the new chassis, released the first images of the concept for the next-gen all-electric race car.