Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have released the first images of the Gen2 EVO Formula E car, set to be used in the championship from the start of the 2020-2021 season.
The car is an update to the existing Spark SRT05e second-generation control Formula E chassis which has been in use since the 2018-19 championship, and much like the facelift given to the first generation car for season three, it aims to give the chassis a fresh look for the final two seasons of its four-year racing life.
The most striking difference between the updated car and the existing model is the wheel arches – in particular, the lack of them – with the design reverting to a true open wheel look. The front wheel pods which cover over the top of the wheel on the current package now only extend in front of the wheel. These pods also still act as the end plates for the front wing, which has moved slightly rearward, and also form the mounting structure for upper wing elements which curve back towards the nose of the car.
The shape of the upper wing sections give the front of the car a similar aesthetic design to the nose of the Roborace driverless racing car, and will also likely have an effect on the racing. Much has been made of the increase in contact between the cars during races since the introduction of the current model for season five, in particular, the number of front wings and wheel pods dislodged.
The new front bodywork design will likely address some of these issues: the lower front wing is better protected in its new position further rearward under the nose, while the size of the upper wing elements means that there will be a notable performance loss if these items are damaged or lost on circuit. This, combined with the more exposed wheel and suspension, are likely to force drivers to be more discerning during track battles.
At the rear, the bodywork surrounding the wheels has also been opened up, with the two rear wing sections – currently positioned above each tyre – now moved inboard. The new rear wings themselves, while appearing to be smoother and cleaner than on the existing car, have a larger surface area and with less chance of being disturbed by turbulent air from the wheel underneath them – likely making the wing more efficient. Also aiding the path of airflow to the rear wings is a new – and sizeable – shark fin on the motor cover behind the roll hoop, similar in shape to the one used in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
A large portion of the aerodynamic performance of the current car is produced on the underside, and from the released images it seems that this has been further developed for the Gen2 EVO package. With the smaller front wheel arches in place, there are revised barge boards behind the wheels directing airflow over and under the floor and into the side pods. The diffuser under the rear of the car – already a prominent feature of the current model – appears to be far more pronounced with the revised rear bodywork above it.
Speaking at the release of the car, Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag highlighted the Gen2 EVO’s unique look compared to other one wheelers as reflective of the innovative nature of the category.
“The Gen2 already stands out as one of the most striking race cars to hit the track, and just as the name implies, the Gen2 EVO is another evolution of the distinctive design. As we did with the first-generation car, the Gen2 EVO has been given reprofiled bodywork to make it look more sleek and agile. This car will forever go down in the history books as the first to challenge for an ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. I would like to thank FIA President Jean Todt and his team for making this evolution take shape. Its futuristic design once again showcases Formula E as the category for innovation in both technological advances and appearance.”
Also commenting at the unveiling, FIA President Jean Todt pointed out the importance of the updated car as Formula E takes on FIA World Championship status for the first time as it is introduced for the 2020/21 season:
“The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is in only its sixth season of competition, yet the technology within it has come a long way, and can benefit all road users. I am pleased that as it transitions to World Championship status, we see a further evolution of the Gen2 car – the Gen2 EVO – with an exciting new look. It is this progressive approach that has contributed to the expansion of the grid and increasing competitiveness of the championship, which continues to go from strength to strength and which is paving the way for the future of sustainable urban mobility.”
While the Gen2 EVO Formula E car has been released digitally, the revised car is due to make its first appearance in the flesh at the Geneva International Motor Show – just like its Gen2 predecessor – from March 3.
Images via FIA Formula E Championship
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