All right, time to see what season five can do.
I feel that extra power.
Yeah, there it is.
[LAUGH] If this is the future of motor sports, sign me up.
Formula E has been around for four years now, when they serious launch, they promised an earlier look to the future of motor sport, all elected racing that was free of a mission but still full of excitement, instead what we got.
Felt a little bit half baked.
Ten teams entered their first season all of them racing cars that were exactly the same cars with less horse power than a Honda Civic and ranged so limited they had to change cars mid race.
Open wheel formula racing is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sport but those first seasons they came up a little bit short.
for your five there is hope new teams new technologies and most importantly new cars.
Cars with more power more range and a shape that is absolutely jaw droppingly gorgeous.
See what I mean?
This the Audi e-tron FEO5 and with cars like this Formula E is finally starting to look like the future.
Far more simple than the overot designs you see on modern F1 grids.
The new formula e car looks like something that escaped from wipeout.
Despite appearances these cars will stay very much on the ground .Where they will have to live up to the standards set by last year car.
The championship winning FEO4.
Helping the team is none other than Allan McNish.
Three time Lamar winner and former formula one racer a man who knows a quick car when he sees it.
Well then walk me through the cars, let's start with the season 4 cars
Well if you go to the Season 1 to Season 4 car and as you said, there's a spec car in a lot of ways.
Spec chassis Spec aerodynamics, spec tires, spec most of it except the electric drive train.
However, in the first season it was a spec electric drive train as well with 150 kilowatts of power.
So in reality not a heck of a lot of power
Which is about 225 for our American viewers.
When we entered the [UNKNOWN] to season 4 we developed that up.
To a maximum of 200 kilowatts in qualifying but as ever motor sport you need to move on
So we move onto the new car now probably one of the bigest limitations of this car was mid race changes but that goes away with the new season five car
Yes here we basically have got double the energy into the battery and that allows us to go the full 45 minute race without the car change.
Now the car change was quite interesting though, because it was a sporting dynamic of the race that actually allowed you an opportunity to sort of play around with some strategies, and so now we've got a thing called attack mode Just to replace that.
And attack mode means we will go with an extra amount of power for a period of time.
Which is determined by the organizing body and given to us just before the race starts.
So there's going to be a bit of strategy involved there.
A little bit of gamification there, right?
I hope so.
Messing up things a little bit, making things more interesting, or is that maybe a little playing with the results too much?
I thought is playing with the results, because it's the same for everybody, so it does gives everybody the same opportunity but it means that the guys are going to be ahead of the game, they are going to take advantage.
So this car looks radically different than the season 4 car and, in my opinion, a whole lot better, but aerodinamically, what's changed here?
Well, you are right, it has.
Also on the front we've got no covers over the front wheels archers It still got the nose traditional, in a very similar way to this, but then when you come back to the car you can see it quite simply.
This one got a rearwind, this doesn't.
However, this one's got a huge defuser here, to produce some downforce, but the principle of the championship isn't about producing downforce It's about producing efficiency.
And this is the kind of [UNKNOWN] that a lot of people have been pushing for in Formula 1, too.
To get rid of the rear wing and really open up the rear of the car to allow cars to race more closely, too.
Ultimately, in a street racing series, we've got quite a tight, compact circuit.
And so we do need To be racing close to wheel to wheel.
And I can tell you they're very much wheel to wheel.
And you mentioned spec body working, is still spec chassy.
But a lot is able to be changed by the team this year too, right?
In here, right underneath here, we have got an electric motor, an inverter system.
Our gearbox are differential and rear suspension.
So that's the [INAUDIBLE] very much focused, so there's the hardware aspects of it, but at the same time is the software that [INAUDIBLE] can develop through the season, because this championship you homologate this car before you start the year, and then once it's homologated, you can't change it So we've got another 25 percent increase of power.
So, in qualifying we'll be at 250 kilowatts in season five.
I think it's 340 horsepower-ish something like that
So that's some pretty serious numbers we're talking about.
And the weight is a little bit higher in this car as well.
But still pretty light.
Yeah, the weight is 900 kilos so about 2000 lbs.
And principly the battery, even though its got double the energy, is slightly heavier.
Also we've got the new Formula 1 style halo system.
So, the tire is an all weather tire, that tire is still got to be robust enough to deliver the performance through the whole 45 minute range.
And all eight tires for this race weekend, right?
All eight tires for the race weekend.
So, it means when you drive your car, you're gonna have to be careful With the throttle because one thing about the electric mortar instant torque, and with e-tron we've been developing that instant torque but also developing the drivability.
So talking about drivability that makes me of the e-tron road car which is coming to market next year Is there any link between this thing and what you'll be able to buy at the end of 2019?>>The motorsport arm is always been there in advance of what's been coming to the production line.
One area that we've been able to learn a lot about, this is an example of a cross over technology, is actually regeneration of energy.
On the braking, and that you normally you would lose but going back into the battery.
And so in races we recuperate just maybe a it over 20% of our energy.
But [UNKNOWN] recuperate about 30%.
So therefore there has been an understanding of how you can actually use that lost energy then improve it And that will give you much, much better mileage when you're actually driving you're E-truck.
Now I know you're going to let me to play in both these cars.
You're gonna make me start in last year's car.
What do I need to know?
What do I need to watch out for?
Well, they're very different two cars.
I would've said this one.
Is quite raw in its way.
What I think you have to be careful here is when you put combined load into the car, so when you're braking and turning in, then that rear, you've gotta be careful, because again, we're regenerating the energy into the battery.
If we go to the FEO Five, because of the brake by wire systems and because of the way we've developed the software as well, this car's a little bit more connected.
However, you have got more power.
You can spin up these rear wheels.
And once you spine them up and be careful of the next one cuz it's easier to spin up again.
So I would say right foot gentleness in this car.
And probably left foot breaking gentleness in that car.
I can't wait to go.
It's all about your dancing feet.
I got a good dancing feet.
After a few introduction to the team, a bit of pedal fitting and a quick rundown of all the buttons on that lovely carbon fiber steering wheel.
It was time for me to make a somewhat awkward entry into the [UNKNOWN] cockpit of the FVL4 and hit the track.
I was just like I'm taking off, this is cool.
All right, here we go.
[SOUND] Heading out of the pits in the Formula E car for the first time I confess to being a little bit nervous in this one because everyone has told me how likely this car is to spin under braking.
The steering is very light and there is zero brake feedback at all it feels like I'm [UNKNOWN] on a brick.
This is a very interesting circuit, a lot of different types of asphalt, a lot of surface imperfections.
Actually, it compares pretty closely to a lot of the other Formula E circuits out there, most of which are on City streets.
Now I know it only has about 253 horsepower, but boy, boy, it's got a lot of torque.
[LAUGH] And no traction control other than my right foot.
The other thing that Allan McNish warned me about was the breakaway characteristics of these tires.
They're a street tire, so I expected that they/d have a pretty big slip angle.
That I'd really be able to kinda get things sideways if I wanted to, but apparently that's actually not the case.
It's a windy blustery day here in Majorca, but I am snug as a bug in a rug in this thing.
Lying flat on my back, strapped in tight.
I am actually pretty comfortable, I gotta say.
Wrapped in a carbon fiber blanket that cost more than my house, but we won't think about that too much right now.
I can actually hear the tires talking back to me.
Which is not something, at least you are driving a race car, incredibly nimble, you can really hustle it through that [INAUDIBLE] as you can brake quickly, very confidence, actually surprising Surprisingly so.
[LAUGH] Okay, time to head into the pits.
Boy it's nice to have a bunch of guys waiting for you in the pits.
I could get used to this.
That was a lot of fun.
It was more exhausting than I thought.
The steering is light but still requires a lot of upper body strength to keep this thing moving.
As ever with EV's it feels like is has a lot more horsepower than it does because it has so much torque.
I'm ready for going in the season five.
And then, the moment I've been waiting for.
I'd already said how good I think the new car looks, but, of course, non of that matters if it's awful to drive.
I could not wait to strap in and find out.
Time to see what season 5 can do.
It's my first time driving in a car with the halo device, which is this kinda thong flip-flop lookin' thing over my head here.
And from the outside I know they look like they take up a lot of view, but actually from in here, I don't even really notice it.
Right in front of me, it's only maybe the width of my thumb.
Ergonomics of the season five car are pretty similar to the first but my elbows are actually even tighter in them than before so I'm having to use my fingers and my wrists even more to steer than I did in the season four car.
Season five we've got a little more weight, a good bit more power More advanced suspension system which in total make this car much nicer to drive I can immediately feel the difference even just in the first few corners.
Feels so much more planted also maybe even a little bit less fun to drive but it does feel much quicker than before.
I feel that extra power, yeah, there it is.
[LAUGH] Well, it does feel so much more planted under braking, really secure.
[NOISE] Steering weight, maybe a little bit heavier than [UNKNOWN] car.
But overall, this feels like a big step forward.
As you'd expect, Twelve year newer car with a lot more development from Audi in the rear end.
Still has that grey point in the squirt feeling as the first gen car.
Driving through the [UNKNOWN], rear kicking out a little bit there.
Overall these different asphalt imperfections, bumps everywhere.
Just feels very very planted all the time.
If this is the future of motor sport sign me up.
[SOUND] Now, I know a lot of people are gonna rag on the sound of these cars because they don't sound like a speeding V10.
And I miss those days too, but I gotta be honest, those days are gone.
And we're not coming back.
Frankly, I love the sound of this car.
I think it sounds absolutely amazing.
It sounds exactly what I imagined a car in the future would sound like when I was a kid.
And i got to tel you, I feel so incredibly lucky to be driving this today.
Yes, that was a bit of emotion you might have picked up in my voice there.
This was one of those special experiences that don't come along every day, at least not unless you're a professional racer.
No, this isn't the fastest racecar on the planet, but it is certainly one of the most exotic.
And one that I think will hold major significance in the long run of motor sport history.
To say that I felt privileged to drive it doesn't begin to tell the story.
And as if that weren't enough, having Al Mcnish wait in the pits for a post-stint debrief, this is properly special stuff.
Thank you very much.
Does that mean I get a contract for this season?
Are you looking for any drivers?
We need to have a look at you.
We'll need to look into the data.
How was it, from your point of view?
It felt much more composed, much more planted.
Really solid, really good.
From a chassis point of view, relative to the V 04.
And under braking, a lot more stable as well.
To be able to hear which end was breaking loose just was one more element of feedback that I'm not used to, so that was really nice.
And I love the sound of an electric motor and the reduction of gear set and how everything winds.
We're finding that different manufacturers with slightly different concepts.
Have got a different noise.
So it's starting to separate off where you'll be able to identify an Audi relative to something else.
Alan, thank you again so much.
Hey, pleasure, congratulations.
Thank you very much.
And don't worry, we'll give you a shout.
Suffice to say, it's gonna be a little while before Formula e-cars are quicker around a track than Formula 1. But that's okay, the series has only been around for five years and, frankly, faster cars don't necessarily equal better racing.
More importantly I actually like the direction that formula E is headed and I can't say the same about a lot of the recent decisions from the Formula 1 organizers.
So as a lifetime F1 fan it pains me to say it.
This really is the future of motor sport.
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