All-wheel drive unlocks 0-60 mph in 1.82 seconds

Formula E is halfway there Gen3 car era and plans are in motion for the upcoming Gen4 racer. However, the series isn’t waiting until this all-new electric car is ready to hit the track to debut some significant upgrades. current model. Ahead of this weekend’s Monaco E-Prix, Formula E The fastest-accelerating FIA single-seater in the world by current standards, the Gen3 Evo debuted. The series also features all-wheel drive (AWD) for the first time in a Formula E car, as well as body changes aimed at improving aerodynamics and durability.

Formula E says the Gen3 Evo is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 mph in 1.82 seconds (0-100 km/h in 1.86 seconds), a full second faster than the Gen3 version. He explained that this time is 30 percent faster than a 2024 Formula 1 car and 36 percent faster than the Gen3 EV currently used in racing. These figures are not theoretical either: the series has already achieved the benchmarks on the road in Misano, Italy.

“It’s not a simulation, it’s real,” Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds told Engadget. “Really, the FIA ​​has timed it at this speed.” Dodds added that there are some “minor tweaks” in some areas, but the Gen3 Evo should still hit 100 mph in less than two seconds when it makes its racing debut next year.

Key to this lock-free acceleration is the use of AWD for the first time in a Formula E car. The series debuted dual powertrains with the Gen3, but up until now the front has only been used for battery recovery. AWD will only be used in the later stages of the qualifiers (head-to-head duels), at the start of the race and during the race when the driver activates Attack mode. Along with the acceleration boost, drivers should experience better handling and more grip when AWD is active. Moreover, it completely changes the team strategy and can lead to even more exciting races.

“One of the criticisms I’ve heard is that Offensive Mode doesn’t make a big enough difference,” Dodds said. “I think with all-wheel drive it will make a difference.” He also noted that when you have 22 cars going from 0 to 60 mph in 2 seconds into the first corner, “it’s a high-stakes, exciting start to the race.”

Formula E Gen3 Evo car, front wing detail.Formula E Gen3 Evo car, front wing detail.

Revised front fender on Gen3 Evo. (Formula E)

The one disappointment of the Gen3 that Formula E has with the Gen3 Evo is the fragility of the front wing. New side pods, rear wing, etc. as part of a larger overhaul of the incoming bodywork, the new car has a redesigned, slightly pointed nose and a strengthened front wing. Damage to the front fender is common on the Gen3 car and it often gets stuck under the car, making it dangerous for the driver trying to get back into the pit lane. In addition to being “stronger” and “more rigid,” according to Formula E, the body changes also improve aerodynamics, which could contribute to more wheel-to-wheel battles on the track.

Another major change is in the wheels. Formula E still runs on the all-weather compound used for its races with Hankook, but the updated version offers 5-10 percent more grip than the current spec. Dodds explained that this increase in traction is important because the Gen3 Evo uses a front powertrain for AWD.

“If the tires don’t have an increase in grip, it’s pretty hard to control,” he said.

Overall, Formula E says the performance improvements in the Gen3 Evo equate to a two-second drop in qualifying lap times around the tight, twisty Monaco street. Since the series includes an adjustment period in that estimate, it means that AWD and a higher power mode will be active to achieve this. However, it also means unlocking the full potential of Formula E, which Gen3 has been capable of since its debut last season.

A Formula E Gen3 Evo drives away from the camera, with blurred lights on either side.A Formula E Gen3 Evo drives away from the camera, with blurred lights on either side.

Formula E

Indeed, the core of the Gen3 car is still intact. It includes an incredibly efficient all-electric racing car that converts 90 percent of its energy into mechanical power. Using 600 kW of regenerative braking, the cars generate almost 50 percent of the energy needed to complete the race while on the road. Like its predecessor, the Gen3 Evo is capable of a top speed of 200 mph. And as before, teams will make performance updates to the cars through software changes in search of any advantage on the track.

Formula E says it has already done some driver testing of the Gen3 Evo behind closed doors and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Dodds explained that Tag Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein and DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne drove both cars in the test sessions. Vergne, one of the more outspoken drivers on the grid, was particular about how much better it handles than the current car.

“As soon as we can get there [Gen3 Evo] In season 11, so good,” Dodds explained. “It’s great to get that feedback, because happy drivers often make for happy races.”

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