Audi has recently announced an intention to intensify its involvement with its Formula E Factory Team. Currently providing technical support to Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, the marque is stepping up its involvement from the 2016/2017 season by providing financial and technical support. Better yet, Audi will introduce its own factory-backed race car from the 2017/2018 season.
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, said: ‘Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With quattro drive we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.’
Audi has been involved in electric racing since the inaugural 2014/2015 season through its partnership with Team ABT Schaeffler; the team currently receives technical support from the marque, including the use of Audi Sport’s infrastructure in Neuburg.
On the topic of Audi’s motorsport programme, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development Audi AG, Dr Stefan Knirsch, said: ‘Electric mobility is one of the key topics in our industry. We intend to evolve into one of the leading premium car manufacturers in this field. By 2025, every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle. The first model for this is planned to be an SUV we’re going to present in 2018. In the light of these plans, adapting our motorsport program and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move.’
The experience Audi has gained so far has been channelled into the production world too, with Audi e-tron technology enjoying much success - the popular A3 Sportback e-tron and the recently-released Q7 e-tron offer everyday usability, Audi refinement and efficient motoring. And you can try these two innovative models with Jardine Motors Audi.
Audi has most certainly reinforced its commitment to the advancement of electric vehicles by backing Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport – what should we expect next from the pioneering, electrifying brand?