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Formula E cars will be significantly faster

Renault Sport and five of the teams currently contesting the maiden Formula E Championship are among the eight new manufacturers accredited to produce powertrains from 2015/2016.

The second season will mark the beginning of Formula E moving away from the control Spark-Renault SRT_01E package, which is powered by a McLaren Electronic Systems unit.

Already a technical partner and represented in the series through e.DAMS, Renault has been selected following an FIA tender process, along with ABT Sportsline, Andretti, Mahindra, Venturi Automobiles and Virgin Racing Engineering.

Newcomers Motomatica and NEXTEV TCR complete the line-up.

All eight will be free to develop powertrains through a bespoke e-motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system.

The remainder of the package will remain unchanged, with batteries the next stage of Formula E's evolution in the third season.

Formula E cars will be "significantly" faster next season when the series is opened up to manufacturer development, says championship boss Alejandro Agag.

The FE technical package will be gradually opened up over coming years, starting with various areas of the powertrain in season two before new batteries are allowed in season three.

As said that the championship's spec formula for its debut season was a deliberately cautious package.

how many seconds per lap, but the gains will be significant in season two," Agag said when asked by AUTOSPORT about how much faster the cars will become.

"Already this season the teams have learned so much about how to manage a race and what they need to get more out of the cars.

"They are all working hard on how they can beat each other, and that competition is only going to get more serious when the manufacturers come in.

OPINION: Formula E wins over a sceptic

"For this season they had to produce 40 cars in a short space of time, so we had to be cautious with the performance. But this is just a starting point."

Agag said that it would defeat the object of the series to maintain a spec formula beyond the first season.

"We are all racing people, and the teams are here to compete," he said.

"That's the great thing about competition, and that's why we created this championship.

"Otherwise I don't know why you do it. It's about beating the others, and that's what motivates everybody."

By the fifth year, that development is expected to see drivers use a single car in each race.

"One of our objectives from the beginning was to promote technology competition but we cannot do that as organisers of the championship, we need 'actors' to join and to develop technologies to fight against each other in the races," Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said.

"Through this fight we improve the technology and then with this improved technology we improve electric cars in general.

"We expect more manufacturers to join from season three onwards and we're already talking with many different manufactures and also OEMs."

The new powertrains are expected to start testing mid-year.


Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne told AUTOSPORT that it does not matter to him that the first-generation Formula E cars are slower than most other major single-seaters.

"Even if it's not quick, it's still extremely difficult to drive," he said.

"There's not much grip, and the cars are heavy. It's a lot more difficult to maximise than some other cars.

"In an F1 car, you know when a corner can be taken flat-out and you can trust the grip.

"Here you cannot trust anything. The car is moving around a lot more, and it doesn't feel easy."

DTM racer Antonio Felix da Costa believes that adding bottom-end power to the cars is more important than top speeds, even though the cars do not reach 200km/h in race trim at the moment.

"It would be nice to have more power when you first press the pedal," he told AUTOSPORT.

"At the moment you just hit the accelerator coming out of every corner and it's fine, no wheelspin, no trouble.

"So it could be more challenging in that respect. But top speed is not so important.

"It already feels faster than it is because you don't have the engine sound, and I think on these tight street circuits we race on you could have some big accidents if the top speeds are too high."


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