Formula E gets more exciting with the launch of Audi e-tron FE04 all-electric race car

Article by Christian A., on September 29, 2017

After four decades of being an expert in the motorsport industry, Audi will be the first German automaker to compete in Formula E. This will be done to test the development of new technologies to be used in production, according to the Member of the Board of Management, Peter Mertens.

After a number of powertrains like the quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many others, the single-seater race car will test electric mobility as it relates to what the 2018 Audi e-tron will use. Recently at the IAA, the automaker did say that over 20 electrified models will be part of their lineup just before 2025, and this includes Plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars.

The automaker will be allowed to develop the powertrain, which includes the transmission, motor, parts of the suspension and the software. What’s in the heart of the Audi e-tron FE04 will be the motor and transmission. The motor generator unit was designed for greater efficiency and so the engineers put a lot of their time and effort into this. In the 2017/2018 season, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will only be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear, to deliver power to the wheels.

Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport, said that they have come up with a new powertrain, together with Schaeffler, their technology partner. He added that its appearance is very distinct as you can tell right away when you look at the powertrain’s new carbon housing. Adding to that, the car will be having a different soundtrack, and this is because they are trying out new technology.

Of course, the Audi e-tron FE04 was designed to stand out, and so it had been given a white, metallic green and black livery as the base colours, distinguishing it from the car Lucas di Grassi won at Formula E just a few months ago. The Brazilian driver will be entering a new series to defend his title in car number “1”.

Daniel Abt, who is an Audi factory driver will be di Grassi’s teammate. He will be driving the number “66” car that has more red markings on his car to distinguish it from the other. Both men have formed a strong duo in Formula E since day one. They have achieved 24 podiums out of the 33 races they have competed in, and six of those are victories.

On December 2, the Audi e-tron FE04 will make its debut in Hong Kong at Formula E’s season opener. But we will see the FE04 before that, as Daniel Abt will be driving it during the E-Mobility Play Days at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Press Release

Emotion instead of emission: Audi heading for the motorsport future in electric power

Audi presented the Group’s first all-electric race car in Neuburg on Wednesday night. The Audi e-tron FE04 mirrors the company’s transformation from a classic automobile manufacturer to a forward-thinking mobility provider on the race track.
“After nearly 40 years of being successfully active in motorsport on the highest level, Audi now becomes the first German automobile manufacturer to compete in Formula E in order to test and advance the development of new technologies for production,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, AUDI AG. “Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our first single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018.” At the IAA, Audi announced having more than 20 electrified models in its range even before 2025 including Plug-in-hybrids and fully electric cars.

In Formula E, the teams and manufacturers are allowed to develop the powertrain consisting of the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. The combination of the motor and transmission is the centerpiece of the Audi e-tron FE04. The engineers primarily focus on designing the motor-generator unit for ever greater efficiency. To transmit the power to the wheels, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear in the 2017/2018 season.

“Together with our technology partner Schaeffler, we have developed a completely new powertrain,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “You can immediately tell this by looking at the new carbon housing of the powertrain. The car also sounds different because we’re pursuing new avenues in technology.”

A progressive new livery featuring white, metallic green and black as the basic colors visually distinguishes the Audi e-tron FE04 at first glance clearly from the car in which Lucas di Grassi won the Formula E championship title in July. For the first time in his career, the 33-year-old Brazilian is entering a new season in car number “1” of the title defender and on the occasion of the world premiere in Neuburg he did not let the opportunity pass by of driving the softly whirring new electric race car onto the stage.

Lucas di Grassi’s teammate is youngster Daniel Abt (24). The driver from the Allgäu has been signed as an Audi factory driver. Daniel Abt will be driving car number “66” with additional red color markings intended to make it easier for spectators to distinguish the cars of the two Audi campaigners from each other.

From day one, Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt have been forming a strong driver duo in Formula E, which in the 33 races held to date has achieved 24 podiums, six victories and four pole positions. Both are tackling their fourth Formula E season.

The new team principal and, as such, the face of Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in Formula E is Allan McNish. The Scotsman had already accompanied and supported the team at the race tracks throughout the third season. Now the former Formula 1 campaigner, long-standing Audi factory driver and three-time Le Mans winner is also officially leading and representing the squad.

The Audi e-tron FE04 will make its racing debut at the Formula E season opener in Hong Kong on December 2, 2017. However, the new electric race car will already be seen on the race track in the coming days. This Friday and Saturday, Audi is presenting the FE04 with Daniel Abt at the wheel during the E-Mobility Play Days at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Subsequently, from Monday to Thursday, Valencia, Spain, will be the venue of the only official Formula E pre-season tests. Both Audi drivers will be testing there.

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