Audi presented the Group’s first all-electric race car in Neuburg on Wednesday night, ahead of its debut at the Formula E season opener in Hong Kong on December 2, 2017.
“After nearly 40 years of being successfully active in motorsport on the highest level, Audi now becomes the first German automobile manufacturer to compete in Formula E in order to test and advance the development of new technologies for production,” said Peter Mertens, Member of the Board, Technical Development, Audi AG. “Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our first single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018.”
Audi aims to have more than 20 electrified models in its range by 2025 including Plug-in-hybrids and fully electric cars.
Audi said that in Formula E, the teams and manufacturers are allowed to develop the powertrain consisting of the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. The combination of the motor and transmission is the centerpiece of the Audi e-tron FE04. The engineers primarily focus on designing the motor-generator unit for ever greater efficiency. To transmit the power to the wheels, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear in the 2017/2018 season.
“Together with our technology partner Schaeffler, we have developed a completely new powertrain,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “You can immediately tell this by looking at the new carbon housing of the powertrain. The car also sounds different because we’re pursuing new avenues in technology.”
Lucas di Grassi, the 33-year-old Brazilian is entering a new season in the car number “1” while the younger team mate Daniel Abt (24) from the Allgäu will be driving the car number “66” with additional red color markings intended to make it easier for spectators to distinguish.
Audi is presenting the FE04 with Daniel Abt at the wheel during the E-Mobility Play Days at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Subsequently, from Monday to Thursday, Valencia, Spain, will be the venue of the only official Formula E pre-season tests. Both Audi drivers will be testing there.