Formula E Unveils Spark-Renault SRT_01E at 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show | Edmunds

Formula E Unveils Spark-Renault SRT_01E at 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • Formula E took a step closer to reality on Tuesday with the unveiling of the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E.
  • The electric SRT_01E was designed and built by Spark Racing Technologies.
  • The new series is scheduled to hold its first race in September 2014.

FRANKFURT, Germany — The new Spark-Renault SRT_01E machine that will compete in the new Formula E electric-car global racing series debuted on Tuesday at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The unveiling comes approximately one year ahead of the first race for the new series, scheduled in September 2014. Formula E will be the first major series for fully electric-powered vehicles.

The 270-horsepower SRT_01E was designed and built by Spark Racing Technologies. Renault is a technical partner, along with Williams Advanced Engineering. McLaren Electronics Systems is provider of the electric motor, gearbox and electronics, giving the new endeavor the involvement of three active Formula 1 participants.

The monocoque carbon fiber-and-aluminum chassis was designed by Italian racing car builder Dallara Automobili, which also builds the latest-generation IndyCar chassis.

The racecar, which features an extensive use of composite materials, sprints from zero to 62 mph in an estimated three seconds, although final performance figures have not been verified.

The Spark-Renault SRT_01E features a power-saving mode with a "push-to-pass" system temporarily allowing maximum power for a limited time. The push-to-pass system generates 90 hp.

The racecar has an overall length of 196.8 inches and an overall weight of 1,763 pounds. "I congratulate all partners involved in the production of the fully-electric SRT_01E car — it is a fantastic achievement," said Jean Todt, president of sanctioning body Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. "The innovative technology deployed follows the best environmental practices, highlighting the potential of the Formula E Championship to spark a revolution in the development of new electromobility systems, not just for motorsport but also for everyday use."

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings, called the Frankfurt auto show "the perfect environment" to unveil the car.

"Many leading manufacturers at the show today are unveiling their new electric road cars," he said, "but not just one-offs — full car ranges, demonstrating how times have changed and why the time is right to launch the new FIA Formula E Championship."

The new series got an endorsement from Sir Frank Williams, whose cars have won nine constructor championships, seven driver championships and 114 grands prix in Formula 1 competition.

"Motorsport is moving towards a greener future and the FIA Formula E Championship will be a prime opportunity to showcase the latest green technology that has its origins in motor racing," Williams said.

Formula E is scheduled to include 10 teams of two cars each. The site and specific date of the races have not been released, but 10 events — all on temporary street circuits at major cities — have been announced.

Andretti Autosport of the United States is the latest of three teams to commit to participation, joining Drayson Racing of Great Britain and China Racing.

Edmunds says: Formula E continues to build momentum and gain credibility as the revolutionary series moves inside the one year-countdown to launch.

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