The excitement around the 2018/19 Formula E car is a far cry from the situation less than four years ago. Doubt surrounded the series to the point where, as one senior figure puts it, at the maiden teams' test of the first model at Donington Park "we said 'this isn't possible, we won't even make it all the way around the track'."
With its second-generation racer, revealed this week, FE has moved onto such a different level that its name is no longer accurate. It is many things: dramatic, aggressive, different... but it is not a formula car anymore. 'Formula' E suddenly seems inappropriate.
Its striking, futuristic new look includes a huge rear diffuser, LMP1-inspired coverage of the wheels and a ring of lighting around the FIA-mandated halo cockpit protection device (which doesn't look all that bad). The car has shifted from classic open-wheeler to some sort of formula-prototype, which finally gives the series the sort of visual identity the technology that underpins it deserves.