Ever since Audi left the WEC, after being one of the most successful brands in the sport’s history, fans were naturally rather upset. The leave came on the heels of the now infamous diesel scandal that enveloped the entire Volkswagen Group. So Audi didn’t have much of a choice but to leave the WEC, rather than spend millions on R&D for such a motorsport while facing a massive emissions scandal. However, now Audi has a new way to participate in motorsport while also improving its green image — Formula E.
Audi will become the first German car company to sport a racing team in Formula E. Admittedly, the Ingolstadt-based brand had been involved with Formula E before, but this will be the first time it actually will be sporting an actual team with an Audi Formula E car.
“We’ve been supporting the Formula E commitment with increasing intensity in recent months – on the race days, in the development of the new powertrain and in numerous off-track activities as well,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, AUDI AG. “That Audi will be the first German automobile manufacturer to be actively involved in the racing series starting next season is also a clear commitment of our brand to electric mobility, on the race track as of December and next year on the road as well with the new Audi e-tron.”
The fourth season of Formula E will kick off in December of this year. “Formula E delivers spectacular motorsport in the hearts of fascinating cities and is a tremendous stage to present electric mobility and motorsport in their most emotive forms,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “We’re currently seeing an extremely exciting season with a gripping title race. I’m happy that now everything has been put on track for a successful future too.”
Together with official technology partner Schaeffler Audi is currently in the process of developing the new powertrain to be fielded next season. “We’ve already successfully completed tests with the new components in Spain and in Neuburg and our project is on schedule,” says Dieter Gass. At the moment, the freedom in Formula E granted to all manufacturers is limited to the motor, transmission, the respective suspension components and to software. “The competitiveness in Formula E between manufacturers, teams and drivers is enormous. That makes details in the development all the more crucial.”