The Formulec EF01 is a pretty sweet all-electric race car, but it's really been just a place holder for the vehicles that will eventually form the FIA Formula E Championship grid. Along with an announcement that Renault will be a technical partner, the budding series has just released images of what we can expect the actual cars to look like when they take to the starting line. Think less Formula 3, and more Formula 1.
As it has been presented, the poetically-named Spark-Renault SRT 01E is a mix of mirror-like polished aluminum body work and carbon fiber struts and wings. Its aerodynamic package not only has the traditional elements that provide downforce and keep the wheels planted through the turns, but it also features a few touches like partially faired wheels to help keep the slipstream free of energy-robbing turbulence.
The collaboration is more than skin deep, too. According to Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies Patrice Ratti, the French automaker will call on expertise derived from its experience in Formula 1 and its production of road-going EVs to keep the electrons in the drivetrain flowing properly. And we quote,
Besides the big partnership news, Formula E has also revealed that Bangkok, Thailand has been chosen as the ninth of ten cities that will host a race. Although it has a burgeoning auto-making industry, the Asian country lacks an international motorsport presence. This event should help raise that country's automotive profile and give the electric racing series one of its more interesting backdrops.
""Engineers from Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport Technologies will collaborate with Spark Racing Technology team to optimize the electric and electronic layout and performance of the powertrain."
You can read the two official press releases by scrolling below, as well as view a clip of Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag discussing the concept of the series in a recent interview with the Financial Times.
Related GallerySpark-Renault SRT 01E
Renault SAS, leader of Electric Vehicle and expert in motorsport, has signed on as official Technical Partner of Spark Racing Technology to supply the Formula E cars to be entered in the FIA Formula E Championship.
The agreement was signed by Patrice Ratti, Renault Sport Technologies Managing Director and as a Renault SAS representative, Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings and Frédéric Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technologies.
"Renault has demonstrated a unique commitment to zero-emission mobility, with a range of 4 cars available for sale. Renault in Europe, and the Renault-Nissan Alliance worldwide, have gained a position of EV sales leader. Formula E is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the excellence and the reliability of our EV solutions" said Philippe Klein, Executive Vice President, Corporate Planning, Product Planning & Programs of Renault Group.
"We believe that motorsport is an efficient manner to promote the efficiency of new technologies, and we're eager to use that single-seater in FIA Formula E championship to show our technology is the best."
Renault's ongoing involvement in motor racing's series provides it with a unique technological laboratory, giving it an edge not only in the world of production vehicles but also on the race track. Renault's technological excellence extends not only in F1 but also in all Z.E. range.
"Renault and Formula E both share the same commitment to innovative technology and sustainable motoring and we're delighted to welcome them to the Championship as a Founding Partner," said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings.
"Not only is Renault one of the world's leading car manufacturers, with a very successful motorsport pedigree, it is also a pioneer for electric vehicles being the first full-range car manufacturer to market zero-emission vehicles. To have a manufacturer of this calibre onboard is a great testament to the growing appeal of the FIA Formula E Championship."
Spark Racing Technology sided toward this technological expertise to optimize the electric and electronic layout. The 42 Formula E single-seaters built for the beginning of the first season will be named "Spark-Renault".
"Spark Racing Technology is extremely proud to have a new major quality player in motorsport, Renault" said Frédéric Vasseur, CEO of Spark Racing Technology.
"Their record and involvement in high level motorsport speaks for the brand. In addition, Renault has always been at the forefront of innovation and having their expertise and know-how is invaluable at such a key moment in the creation of the FIA Formula E World Championship. This partnership with Renault is a new corner stone in a building harmoniously taking shape at all levels."
Renault Sport Technologies is the only car manufacturer to design, develop and market a comprehensive range of sporting cars and vehicles made for motorsport within the same entity.
It was an evidence for Renault to ask to his subsidiary to work on this project and to put on evidence all the engineers' expertise on motorsport vehicles.
"Renault's expertise in electric powertrain design and integration acquired both in production E.V. and in Formula 1 makes Renault Sport a natural partner for Spark in this exciting Formula E project" said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies.
"Engineers from Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport Technologies will collaborate with Spark Racing Technology team to optimize the electric and electronic layout and performance of the powertrain. Our experience will be particularly valuable to ensure the safety and reliability of the car"
Bangkok revealed as candidate city for FIA Formula E Championship
Formula E car makes first ever appearance in Asia
Thailand's capital Bangkok today joined the list of candidate cities bidding to host the new FIA Formula E Championship. The announcement came during a special event held to demonstrate the innovation of racing technology in Thailand, attended by the Pol.Maj.Gen Lattasanya Piansomparn, Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Mr. Chiruit Israngkun Na Ayuthaya, Director-Domestic MICE, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings (FEH).
More than 200 guests attended the reception, also held in honour of His Majesty the King's 86th birthday, hosted on the eighth floor of the ZEN Shopping Mall by leading Thai DJ and model Nattaseat Poonsupmanee. Taking centre stage at the ceremony was the fully-electric Formula E car making its first ever appearance in Asia and introduced with a visually-stunning VDO presentation.
Earlier this year, FEH presented the FIA with a preliminary list of eight cities – London, Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro – all selected to host races for the inaugural season. A total of 10 races are scheduled for 2014 with Bangkok adding its name to the list of candidate cities for the remaining two slots.
Since launching in August 2012, FEH has received formal letters of interest from 23 cities across five continents with the final calendar being presented to the FIA for its approval at the September 2013 World Motor Sport Council.
"We are delighted to be here in Bangkok today and are very thankful to the Thai authorities for their enthusiastic welcome," said Alejandro Agag. "We have been very impressed with Thailand's commitment to cleaner energy and sustainable motoring, as well as their rising motorsport programme, and a Formula E race through this amazing city would provide a great spectacle together with a considerable boost to tourism."
Pol.Maj.Gen Lattasanya Piansomparn said: "In 2012, total production, local sales, and exports of cars, reached new highs, close to 2.5 million cars and breaking a record that had stood for more than 50 years. The heavily promoted Thai car industry was on the way to becoming one of the top 10 car producers in the world. The government policy is to force Thailand as the ASEAN hub of automotive production and announce a new master plan for the automotive industry from 2012 to 2016, formulating development strategies for sustainable growth of the industry, especially the global trends focusing on clean energy.
"This reflects the vision of Thailand's automotive industry and if Thailand is one of the cities' selected to host the FIA Formula E Championship, it will create a great opportunity for the future automotive industry cooperation and Formula E production base in Thailand. Formula E now is the latest innovation and technology of automotive industry. The future automotive trend is electric energy. Moreover, the best benefits for Thailand are; the cutting edge of technology, increased employment opportunities and an increase in labour skills at an international standard."
Mr. Chiruit Israngkun Na Ayuthaya added: "The FIA Formula E Championship in Bangkok city will help economic growth (GDP) and generate tourism revenue for the country, especially MICE industry and motor sports economic activities."
Formula E is a new FIA championship that brings electric vehicle racing to the people, as city centres around the world play host to an electric energy World Championship designed to promote interest and investment in electric vehicles and sustainable motoring.