Frankfurt hasn’t just been about premiering road cars – the upcoming Formula E championship‘s racer, the Spark-Renault SRT 01E full-electric single-seater, also made its official debut at the show.
The vehicle, designed by Spark Racing Technology and powered by an electric drivetrain from Renault, isn’t just a two-company development. A host of familiar names are also involved in the single-seater project, these being Williams (battery design), McLaren (development, production and assembly of the powertrain and electronic controls) and Dallara (monocoque design and construction).
The Spark-Renault SRT 01E, which meets current F1 regulations, features a relatively high ride height in line with use on the urban circuits in the 10-round Formula E Championship, which begins in September next year. Spark is set to manufacture 40 examples for use during the season.
The car’s electric motor delivers 200 kW (or 270 hp), driving the rear wheels. Full output power will be available during qualifying sessions, but for the actual race, power will be limited to 133 kW (or 180 hp), with a ‘push-to-pass’ mode bringing drivers temporary access to the full 270 hp output, the idea being to combine range with overtaking opportunities.
The vehicle weighs in at a minimum 800 kg with the driver on board, the battery accounting for 200 kg in that mix. Performance simulations indicate that the car’s 0-100 km/h time is three seconds, while top speed is limited to 200 km/h for maximum safety in urban racing.
The inaugural Formula E Championship will take place from September 2014 to June 2015. Races are set to take place in an urban setting in each of the ten pilot cities in the competition. Europe will feature London, Berlin and Rome, while Asia will have Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya on the list. The Americas will be represented by Los Angeles, Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.