Technical & optical update planned for Formula E Gen3EVO car: "Big difference to current design"
The third-generation Formula E cars will receive an extensive technical and visual overhaul in the second half of their four-year life cycle. In addition to an activated front motor, there are also plans to adapt the bodywork from 2025 to provide more advertising space for sponsors and possibly improve aerodynamics. Hankook is also preparing to develop new tyres for the eleventh season.
For about six months, Dieter Gass has been at the service of Formula E as Sporting and Technical Advisor. The former Audi Sports boss' job is to work with teams, manufacturers, promoters and Formula E itself on the technical and sporting development of the series. The 60-year-old's first project in this regard is the introduction of an update for the Gen3 vehicles, which is to be used from the 2025 Formula E World Championship onwards.
"We basically want to leave the car as it is," Gass described to The Race. "I think we've had some pretty spectacular races with the Gen3 car this year. If you can maintain that, it's very good. That's exactly the goal we're going for."
Nevertheless, Gass also believes that Formula E should "expand the spectators' experience that comes from the sheer speed of the cars. Not just from the battles and the position changes and things like that." Last season, there were some races where there were several hundred position changes. However, this was criticized as "not real" with riders deliberately dropping back to save energy in the slipstream of the driver in front.
The pace of the cars is supposed to be increased by activating the front powertrain which is a unitary component from the company Atieva with a maximum output of 250 kW. Right now, it is being used exclusively for recuperation. From 2025, the Gen3 cars should be four-wheel drive, at least in certain parts of the race.
All-wheel drive at race start, Attack Mode & qualifying
"The use of the front motor will of course be limited," explains Gass. "We're planning using it at the start, plus most likely in Attack Mode and also in qualifying. At the moment, these are the sections where you can see and use the pace of the car."
It can be assumed that at the same time the maximum power output will also be increased to at least 400 kW. Formula E had already taken a similar approach with the "GENBETA" prototype when, for the indoor-speed-record in London, the front engine of the Gen3 demo car was unlocked with an output of 50 kW.
Also, there should also be a visual facelift, similar to what Formula E had planned for the "Gen2EVO". However, this was scrapped in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic for cost reasons. Among other things, there are to be larger areas for sponsor logos, after the manufacturers and teams have spoken out in favour of such an adaptation for commercial reasons. The manufacturers and teams are said to have already been shown initial renderings, according to information of e-Formula.news.
"That's always a very subjective thing," Gass describes the planned changes to the bodywork, without going into details. "You can see a really big difference from the current design. I have to say they've done a good job on that."
New tyre specification planned by Hankook
In addition to adjustments to the look and activation of the front engine, a change in tyres is also looking increasingly likely. At the indoor speed record in London, Formula E used a special tyre, but Hankook motorsport boss Manfred Sandbichler said it was not suitable for use during the season. "This was a tyre that was developed specifically for this record," he described to The Race.
"That means we weren't concerned with wet conditions, but fully focussed on dry performance. We needed grip, low rolling resistance and extremely fast heating of the tyre. That's not something we can transfer to a normal race tyre for the entire season and championship."
All adjustments, however, are planned for the eleventh Formula E season, which is expected to begin in early 2025. Before that, there is still season 10 with the current car, which will begin in January 2024 in Mexico City. Before, pre-season testing will take place in Valencia at the end of October.