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Audi officially becomes first German automaker in FIA Formula E

It replaces ABT Sportsline on the grid starting in December.

The fourth season of the all-electric FIA Formula E racing series doesn't kick off until December, but Audi's too excited to hold back its news until then.

Audi announced Friday that it will officially field a manufacturer team in FIA Formula E's fourth season, which kicks off in Hong Kong on December 2. Audi took ABT Sportsline's place on the grid, where it will operate under the team name Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

We still haven't seen Audi's new livery, but it probably won't be too different than the current one.


With this announcement, Audi became the first German automaker to field a factory works team in Formula E. Back in October 2016, Audi announced that it would quit its Le Mans efforts in favor of the all-electric racing series. Over the course of the third Formula E season, Audi slowly grew its presence by adding financial and technical support.

Audi was an absolute powerhouse in Le Mans, and its Formula E efforts are off to a solid start. Thus far, its drivers have 23 podiums and five victories over the course of 29 races. Anything is possible in the fourth season, though, as Audi is currently developing a new powertrain -- right now, manufacturers are only capable of modifying the motor, transmission, software and suspension. All the remaining components are specified from the FIA, which is the governing body that oversees many different forms of motorsport.

Audi is far from the first automaker to join Formula E, though. Renault has a team, as does Jaguar. Even Faraday Future jumped in on the action, teaming up with Dragon Racing.

Formula E does things a little differently. Its cars don't have the juice to complete a whole run, so drivers need to switch cars at some point during the race to receive a fresh battery. The cars hustle to 60 mph in about 3 seconds, thanks to a low curb weight around 1,940 pounds. There's also a strange system called FanBoost, where fans can vote to give three different drivers a small horsepower boost.