On December 15, a new era in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will begin in Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia): Thanks to the electric cars’ greater range, the drivers will compete with only one race car for the first time. Audi now unveils the newly developed Audi e-tron FE05, with which Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi will again make a bid for the titles.
This represents the greatest Formula E innovation until now: For the first time since the series was launched in 2014, drivers will only use one car per race to tackle the new 2018/2019 season. Since the batteries now have the capacity to last the entire 45-minute race distance, the mandatory car change during the race has been eliminated. This is a testimony to how motorsport – especially Formula E – is advancing innovations and technology.
With the Audi e-tron FE05, Audi has prepared meticulously for the new technical and strategic challenges. This is particularly true of the key component at the heart of the Audi e-tron FE05: the drivetrain, which consists of the motor, inverter, gearbox, components of the rear suspension, as well as the corresponding software. While the rest of the car is identical for all teams, manufacturers get the opportunity to showcase their technical expertise with the drivetrain. In the fourth season of the all-electric race series, which concluded with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler winning the teams’ title in New York mid-July, the Audi e-tron FE04 very often proved to be the most efficient car. Its successor is an evolution of this winning model.
The motor generator unit, dubbed the Audi Schaeffler MGU03, was jointly developed by Audi and its technology partner Schaeffler. Engineers put particular emphasis on making the package even more efficient and further increasing its level of effectiveness. “We retained the basic concept with one gear and at the same time refined the details and manufactured all of the parts,” says Tristan Summerscale, Formula E Project Leader at Audi. 95 percent of the drivetrain parts are new and the engineers were able to shave ten percent off the weight.
Summerscale and his team began developing the Audi e-tron FE05 as early as mid-2017, even before the start of last season. By the end of July 2018, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) had homologated the car. Changes are no longer permitted, only the software may be improved during the season. A joint test with all of the competitors is scheduled for mid-October in Valencia (Spain). Afterwards, the race cars and equipment will be transported to Saudi Arabia.