In a fairly extravagant ceremony in Neuburg last night Audi reveled their new Formula E contender. Backed by ABT and with full support of the company, the Audi e-tron FE04 is set to take the brand into the future of motorsport and, hopefully, repeat the success they had in Le Mans only a few years ago.
The development of Audi e-tron FE04 and the subsequent technical work that is required to keep it competitive will in the long run benefit Audi’s road-going electric cars as well. After all, motorsport has always been the laboratory in which new technologies were put to rigorous test before making their way to production cars. Formula E is a bit more restricted than regular motorsport, that’s true, but teams can still do developmental work on the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. So there is a lot room for R&D here.
Dressed in a special livery featuring white, metallic green and black, Audi e-tron FE04 Formula E racer will be driven by veteran Luca Di Grassi and youngster Daniel Abt. They are a true “dynamic duo,” having scored 24 podiums, six victories and four pole positions in the 33 races held to date. And they have as their boss and mentor no other than the great Scott, Allan McNish, whose glorious resume features stints in Formula 1 and Le Mans. The Audi e-tron FE04 will make its racing debut at the Formula E season opener in Hong Kong on December 2, 2017.
“After nearly 40 years of being successfully active in motorsport on the highest level, Audi now becomes the first German automobile manufacturer to compete in Formula E in order to test and advance the development of new technologies for production,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, AUDI AG. “Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our first single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018.” At the IAA, Audi announced having more than 20 electrified models in its range even before 2025 including Plug-in-hybrids and fully electric cars.