Formula E

"All-wheel drive makes a big difference" - DS drivers summarise test debut with Formula E's Gen3 Evo car

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

DS and its two Formula E drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne completed a first day of testing with the new Gen3 Evo car in Mallorca. After the test, both the drivers and DS Performance boss Eugenio Franzetti were delighted. Attack mode in particular should open up new strategic possibilities.

The former Formula E champions completed a good 200 laps with the technically revised DS E-Tense FE23, which now sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.86 seconds thanks to additional front acceleration. In collaboration with Penske Autosport, the DS Performance team also tested the new Hankook tyres and the aerodynamics of the new body kit for the first time.

"The test day with Jean-Eric and Stoffel was very educational," says Eugenio Franzetti, Director at DS Performance. "The team has been working with the Gen3 Evo and the new tyres since the beginning of the year, but this was the first time that we also had the complete new body kit."

"The main innovation is the four-wheel drive, and that makes a big difference," driver Vergne told the Spanish website "The car becomes quite fast and gives you a better feeling at the steering wheel. You gain a lot of time per lap - up to two seconds. And it's also very pleasant in terms of pure driving pleasure. That's a really decent step forward."

Greater impact for the attack mode

The difference to the current Gen3 car will be particularly clear in Attack mode, when the electric motor calls on the full 350 kW of power - and can now finally deliver it better on the track. "It will be very difficult to defend against this enormous advantage," predicts Vandoorne.

At the moment, it is almost impossible to overtake with the help of attack mode, but that will change in season 11. "It will be extremely powerful next year. Then it will be very easy to overtake. That will change the strategies a lot," believes Vergne.

"With its all-wheel drive and incredible acceleration, the Gen3 car will make the competition even more exciting," says DS Performance boss Franzetti. "We can't wait to see this new car on the track in season 11."

Vergne still longs for Gen4

Formula E veteran Vergne nevertheless qualifies the positive mood: "I don't like the (Gen3) car. I don't think it looks good and the performance isn't great either. Gen3 was not the necessary step forward for me."

"But I think we're going in the right direction," the Frenchman concedes. "I'm very hopeful about the future." The future Gen4 car, which will be used from the 2026/27 season, will be "the necessary step forward" for him.

After further tests, the DS Penske Gen3 Evo car will make its public debut at the pre-season testing in Valencia this autumn (date still unknown). The first race is scheduled for December, when Formula E starts its eleventh season in Sao Paulo.

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