Formula E unveils its next-gen all-electric race auto

Formula E Radical new 2018/2019 car revealed

At first, nobody wanted anything to do with it.

"This auto represents the future of racing", said series chief executive Alejandro Agag.

The cars will feature in the 2018-2019 season, to begin in the latter half of the year. The series has gradually opened some of those areas up for innovation.

The new battery will be supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies, which beat existing supplier Williams Advanced Engineering to the new contract. As road cars continue to transition to electric, the sport continues to go from strength to strength and challenges Formula 1s relevancy into the future. New body panels cover the wheels and the auto has a large diffuser at the back which generates aerodynamic grip at high speeds. This bit of safety tech also has the unwelcome side effect of making cars look like flip-flops.

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Those two things might sound irreconcilable, but they aren't.

Full technical specifications will be revealed on March 6 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, alongside the vehicle itself.

The fully-electric series is now in its fourth season and has used the same single-make chassis since its inception in 2014.

The first race of the 2018/2019 Formula E season is scheduled for December. As ArsTechnica explains, aerodynamic downforce is less of a priority in Formula E but efficiency is critical. It's fascinating reading and raises the possibility that Formula One might learn a few lessons from the upstart electric auto racing series.

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"Formula One is an entertainment proposition, [like] today, horse racing is an entertainment proposition".

The so-called halo cockpit mandated by FIA to keep Formula E and Formula One drivers safe in 2018 is neatly integrated in the design, and doesn't look anywhere near as jarring as it does on F1 cars.

Those who grew to enjoy the silence, however, still had one big issue with the series: the mid-race swaps.

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