Preparations for the new Formula E season are in full swing as the teams are already oiling their cavalry to compete and seek glory in the electric single-seater series. This is the case of Audi and Jaguar who presented their cars.
Audi will start with its own powertrain for the first time and unveiled the e-tron FE07. The circuit follows the withdrawal of the DTM announced in April, due to the intention to concentrate on factory racing in Formula E.
Audi has been represented in Formula E as a factory team since 2017 and, until now, has been using the powertrain from cooperation partner Schaeffler. Herzogenaurach’s German supplier had so far worked with Abt Sportsline since the first season and had also developed the drivetrain after the acquisition of Audi. Schaeffler remains on board as a partner and sponsor in season seven.
The performance of the electric motor is limited by regulations, so Audi engineers had to improve other areas. The team noted that the new powertrain will be significantly lighter and, with the new component layout, it will be able to better integrate into the car, which also has consequences for the rear suspension.
The weight savings could “be directly reinvested in the new MGU in favor of greater efficiency.” The unit consisting of the MGU (Motor Generator Unit) and the inverter weighs less than 35 kilograms with a power of more than 250 kW.
According to Audi, the MGU05 powertrain has achieved an overall efficiency of more than 95%, and the MGU inverter unit even achieved 97% efficiency in all relevant driving conditions.
In the past, driving efficiency has been decisive in Formula E races since the amount of energy in the race is limited. It’s not about driving as fast as possible, as the amount of power would only be enough for about a third of the race. The rest is recovered when braking and saved when navigating. By driving more efficiently, you can stay on the gas pedal for longer with the amount of power given.
Former Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi will remain as Audi star driver, while DTM champion René Rast will drive the second e-tron 05. Rast had already participated in the last six races of last season for Audi after of the retirement of veteran pilot Daniel Abt leaving good feelings.
Audi will also provide the new powertrain to the Virgin Raving team with Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Formula E teams can only rely on a new powertrain.
After a mixed preseason, Audi decided to develop a new engine from scratch. Therefore, the MGU05 should be used unchanged for the next two seasons.
Jaguar impresses too
Jaguar also introduced its new racing car, the I-Type 5. The British company decided to race the next two years with a new powertrain. As well as increasing overall efficiency, the team also intends to reduce the race car’s weight and center of gravity. The inverter now uses 24-karat gold to make the unit run faster thanks to the high conductivity of the material.
In addition, a new suspension made possible by the new powertrain, will offer additional tuning options depending on track conditions.