E-rac­ing plan for Audi

Ger­man car builder starts race-test­ing the tech of fu­ture elec­tric mod­els

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

TEAM ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport will in­crease Audi’s in­volve­ment in the FIA For­mula E Cham­pi­onship in the 2016/2017 sea­son that opens in Hong Kong on Oc­to­ber 9.

Audi also plans to in­cor­po­rate For­mula E into a fac­tory-backed mo­tor­sport pro­gramme in next year’s sea­son.

Audi board mem­ber Dr Stefan Knirsch said elec­tric cars is a key topic in the auto trade and Audi in­tended to evolve into one of the lead­ing pre­mium car man­u­fac­tur­ers in this field.

“By 2025, ev­ery fourth Audi should be an elec­tric ve­hi­cle. The first model for this is planned to be an SUV we’re go­ing to present in 2018. In the light of these plans, adapt­ing our mo­tor­sport pro­gramme and tak­ing up a com­mit­ment in a fully elec­tric rac­ing series is only a log­i­cal move.”

Head of Audi Mo­tor­sport Dr Wolf­gang Ull­rich said Audi al­ways uses mo­tor­sport to test and de­velop new tech­nolo­gies for sub­se­quent use in pro­duc­tion.

“With quat­tro drive we rev­o­lu­tionised rally rac­ing and sub­se­quently set stan­dards in cir­cuit rac­ing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first man­u­fac­turer to have achieved vic­to­ries with a TFSI en­gine, a TDI and a hy­brid race car, so writ­ing mo­tor­sport his­tory on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. Now we in­tend to re­peat this in fully elec­tric rac­ing. For­mula E with its races be­ing held in the hearts of ma­jor cities is an ideal stage for this pur­pose and Team ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport a log­i­cal part­ner for us.”

Start­ing in the 2016/2017 sea­son, Audi is go­ing to in­ten­sify the ex­ist­ing part­ner­ship with Team ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport by fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port and the fully elec­tric sin­gle-seater race cars will be sport­ing the four rings when the For­mula E sea­son starts in Hong Kong.

The 2016/2017 For­mula E sea­son cal­en­dar cur­rently fea­tures 12 races in 10 cities around the world. On June 10, 2017, the elec­tric rac­ing series will visit Ber­lin. The two fi­nal races will be held in New York (U.S.) on July 29/30, 2017.

The driv­ers of Team ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport are Daniel Abt (Ger­many) and Lu­cas di Grassi (Brazil) who are now tack­ling their third joint For­mula E sea­son as team-mates. Di Grassi was third in the driv­ers’ clas­si­fi­ca­tion in the in­au­gu­ral sea­son and as vice cham­pion just barely missed the cham­pi­onship ti­tle in the 2015/2016 sea­son.

PHOTO: AUDI

Audi will be us­ing the For­mula E all-elec­tric races to test new tech­nolo­gies to back its plan to make a quar­ter of all Audi mod­els sold fully elec­tric.

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