E-racing plan for Audi
German car builder starts race-testing the tech of future electric models
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.
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.