A few weeks ago we told you that the FIA governing body had announced its call for entrants for its new all-electric race car series, Formula E -- and now we’re starting to see interest from potential competitors.
Among the first we’ve seen is not a racing team -- but a design for a racing car to be used in the series.
Designed by former Ferrari Formula 1 team areodynamisict Jean-Claude Migeot at Italian motor racing specialists and aerodynamic consultants FondTech, the all-electric FondTech R-Rev E-11 is a vision of what it says is an ultra-efficient and highly competitive race car.
On paper and in computer simulations, the E-11 is capable of the same kind of performance as existing gasoline-powered Formula 3 racing cars -- and has enough range at race-speeds to cope with a 20 minute race.
Instead of the traditional mid-engine, rear-wheel drive setup employed by traditional single-seat racing cars, the E-11 has an electric motor driving each axle, giving the E11 four-wheel drive capability.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the E-11 however is its shape.
While the E-11 features the familiar open-wheeled design found in most single-seat race cars, its height is almost double that of a conventional racing car.
That’s because FondTech has chosen to place the E-11’s triple lithium-ion battery packs along the car’s main centre chassis, raising the driver above the packs and increasing the height of the car significantly.
The reason? Better handling and better safety, reducing the chance of electrical or chemical explosion in the event of an accident. We can't say the design is particularly aesthetically pleasing -- but if it does limit the chance of major injury in an accident we really can't argue.
So far, FondTech has only shown a computer rendering of its race-car, but claims it should have a car ready to compete in the inaugural Formula E season in 2013.