A consortium of companies has put forth a new, radical idea of what the future of Formula E should look like. Led by TEOS Powertrain Engineering, a company that makes engines for the GP3 series, the group is hoping that its design will be accepted by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body of Formula E.
The FIA began an open call back in March for new battery and chassis designs for the all-electric racing series. The new designs, once accepted and tested, will be implemented in season five, which starts in 2018.
Currently nearing the end of its second season, the cars of Formula E don’t particularly stand out from the crowd of other open-wheel racing series. The chassis was designed by Dallara, the same manufacturer that supplies IndyCar. But that’s all going to change once the fifth season arrives.
The series wants its cars to look radically different. In the official documentation, the FIA writes that "Formula E is seeking a futuristic body work design," and asks interested parties to draw inspiration from famous racing concepts like the Red Bull X2010, the Ferrari F1 Concept, McLaren’s MP4-X, and even a design from Daniel Simon, the man behind the crazy cars of Roborace — Formula E’s forthcoming autonomous sister series.
The new submission from TEOS definitely echoes that concept car aesthetic. It features a partially closed cockpit (that looks a lot like Red Bull’s proposed F1 cockpit solution), wheels that are covered with aerodynamic body work, and plenty of carbon fiber.
It’s not the most radical look that we’ve seen since the FIA opened up the call — that award goes to Mahindra Racing and Pininfarina, which collaborated on three striking designs that were released in April. But those cars, according to Mahindra Racing, were meant to serve more as an inspiration for potential designers and less like an actual submission to the FIA, which is why they include fantastical elements like holographic projections of the drivers’ names.
The TEOS submission is the first legitimate one we’ve seen go public, and it probably won’t be the last. Autosport reports that "multiple bids" have been submitted for both the chassis and the battery contracts, and that more could be revealed at the World Motor Sports Council meeting next week.