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Nissan Formula E racers to wear kimonos for the new season

Veteran drivers Sébastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland will look particularly racy in Japanese traditional formalwear.

Nissan's new livery is said to be inspired by kimonos.

Nissan

When Sébastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland take to the wheel of Nissan's Edams Formula E race cars for the all-electric series' upcoming sixth season, the veteran racers won't just don helmets and firesuits, they'll be wrapped in strikingly showy kimonos. In a manner of speaking, at any rate. 

Nissan unveiled this red, black and white livery for its battery-powered open-wheeled racers at its Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama, Japan, on Tuesday. The new look is said to be inspired by kimonos -- those formal, flowing and singularly beautiful gowns that have been part of Japanese tradition for hundreds of years. 

The special kimono livery, revealed on the eve of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, replaces the predominantly silver-and-black look found on the team's 2018-2019 racing cars. The new tri-color look will also adorn the company's latest Leaf Nismo RC race car, the widebody performance version of the company's production Leaf electric hatchback.

Last season, the Nissan Edams squad finished the Formula E Championship in second place, notching the team's first win in the New York City E-Prix and coming away with six pole positions between Buemi and Rowland.

The Leaf Nismo RC will also wear this new livery.

Nissan

It was Nissan's second season campaigning entrants in the Formula E circuit, having taken over branding sponsorship from its alliance partners at Renault. The French automaker's Edams team claimed the first three Formula E Team Championships in a row.

According to Nissan senior vice president for global design, Alfonso Albaisa, the team's new livery "celebrates our Japanese heritage and vibrant technology DNA. ... We used our iconic Nissan racing red, black and white colors layered diagonally in a kimono pattern, which creates a dynamic and powerful impression."

Last year's Nissan Formula E entrants were powered by a novel two-motor powertrain, a system that was initially homologated by the FIA, the series' sanctioning body. In June, the FIA revealed two-motor systems would be banned at season's end. The surprise announcement marked a significant and costly setback for the Nissan team, which seemed to have the successfully worked the kinks out of its two-motor setup before the ban was announced for the 2019-2020 season. According to reports, the FIA nixed multi-motor powertrains in order to contain costs. Nissan was the only automaker affected by the ban.

The 2019-2020 Edams racers have returned to a single-motor setup.

The sixth season of the all-electric Formula E street-circuit series kicks off this fall, and will include notable new teams like Mercedes-Benz EQ and Porsche. The 2019-2020 series will consist of 14 events in 12 cities on five continents, with host venues including Mexico City, Rome, Seoul, Jakarta, New York and London. 

Round one kicks off Nov. 22 in Diriya, Saudi Arabia.