Formula E has come a long way in its less than three years of existence. With a calendar that includes 12 races at 10 international venues, a driver roster that features A-list talent from many different racing disciplines, and a growing number of manufacturers participating, the all-electric open-wheel series is quickly becoming one of the most interesting to watch in professional motorsports. Though the fledgling series is still just getting started, it’s already thinking of its next-gen racer, which looks even more futuristic than the car it will replace.
Spark Racing Technology was chosen by the FIA as the official chassis developer and supplier for the 2018-2019 season and beyond. SRT also developed the current Formula E chassis, the SRT01. The new design, called SRT05e, looks very different from its predecessor. For starters, the new chassis features an enclosed cockpit, something Formula 1 has been hesitant to adopt despite the obvious head protection advantages. In one render, however, it appears the car only has a partial windscreen. The SRT05e also features full fenders, a front fender-integrated wing, and a wingless rear end. With the addition of fenders, Formula E would no longer be an open-wheel series in the traditional sense of the term.
SRT says its challenge in developing the new chassis was optimizing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing weight to allow the cars to go twice the distance of the current spec. Part of the reason weight had to be reduced was to compensate for new battery tech, which will be 10 percent heavier than today’s systems. “Safety and innovation are the main drivers of the project,” SRT says in a release. Motorsport.com says these are only initial renders of what the season 5 car might look like, and that the actual car will be “quite different.”
The final design should be revealed before the end of the 2016-2017 season in July.