Formula E—the world's first fully electric racing series—recently wrapped its second season with a close championship fight in London. Ahead of the start of the third season later this year, the series has just unveiled a revised version of the Spark-Renault SRT_01 cars that each of the 10 teams will race in cities around the globe.
In fact, from the wheels back, the cars are basically the same; the big change is a striking new front wing, meant to make the car look more aggressive:
"I like the look of the new front wing—it looks a little bit more futuristic, and from inside the car you can see the top part of the wing, so visually for the driver there is also a small change," said Sebastian Buemi, the Swiss driver and reigning Formula E champion. "We want Formula E to look different and be different, and the new wing is a good way of showing that. I don’t think it will make too big of an impact on aero which isn’t in the ethos of this championship—but it’s a good way to show visual development heading to Hong Kong for the start of season three."
Although the series met with some skepticism at its launch, the past two seasons have delivered some great racing. The first championship required all the teams to race mechanically identical Spark-Renaults, but for the 2015-16 season the teams were given technical freedom to design and use their own motor-generator units, power inverters, and gearboxes. Batteries are still common across the grid, though, and the series will have to wait until season five before energy capacity is sufficient to last an entire race.
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The 2016/2017 season will see some new players, too. Jaguar is entering the fray, and Faraday Future has partnered with Dragon Racing to develop its powertrain. And there's a new support series—Roborace—which will feature fully autonomous robot cars racing each other.