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Competition "number one priority" with Formula E's Gen4 car

Formula E’s Gen4 machine must strike a balance between performance and cost with competition the category’s “number one priority”, according to championship co-founder Alberto Longo. 

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

The tender process for the all-electric championship’s Gen4 machine is set to close tomorrow (Thursday 31 August) after the opportunity to supply both the battery and the chassis was opened in June.

The proposal for the new generation of Formula E car, which is set to be used from the 2026-2027 season over a period of at least four years, includes a vast increase in the amount of power which will peak at 600kW – nearly double the rate currently used. 

There will also be a greater focus placed on the aerodynamics of the car, with a high and low downforce configuration being created, while the width and weight of the Gen4 machine is set to increase by 100mm and 76kg respectively. 

A quartet of race scenarios have been suggested, which will use one of the aero packages and either 300kW or 600kW of energy to change the dynamic of races and keep the championship competitive. 

“I think it’s a balance, there is a balancing between the cost, the technology [and] the evolution,” Longo told Autosport. 

“Me as a fan of motorsport, I want to see competition out there – [that is the] number one priority for us, even over speed. 

“Once we have guaranteed that there is going to be competition among teams and drivers, that we’re going to have three, four, five drivers who could potentially win the championship when we get to the end of the season, definitely I would be interested also in having a more powerful car and the technology is allowing us to grow quickly.  

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche

Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche

Photo by: Andreas Beil

“From Gen1 to Gen2 was a massive difference, from Gen2 to Gen3 is a massive difference as well, and the evolution we’re going to do in the middle of the cycle of Gen3 is going to be a big increase as well, and Gen4 is going to keep on going.  

“Definitely it’s important to showcase that the technology is evolving and that you can go quicker for longer with a technology that originally had a lot of barriers.” 

A Gen3.5 version is set to be introduced in 2024-2025, which will essentially be an upgrade to the current model of car, before the Gen4 machine will be used for 2026 with the FIA set to decide the successful applicants for the tenders on 19 October. 

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Mahindra driver and 2016-2017 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi believes the time is now right for the championship to push the development of the cars. 

“I think Formula E has to be the fastest accelerating racing cars on the planet and I think performance matters,” di Grassi told Autosport. 

“We’ve reached a point in the technology of electric that we can have a lot of performance. Formula E reached a maturity of the championship that we could have done it already for Gen3, but we can do it even better for Gen4. 

“And also, from the public’s perspective, it creates a lot of respect, saying I cannot drive a car that has 1000 horsepower.  

“It’s almost like a fighter jet right, it’s so many forces, it’s so quick that you need many hours of training.  

“It’s not that a normal person cannot drive the Formula E car, they could, [but] not at the level we drive, not even close.”

Formula E has come a long way since its first season in 2014/15

Formula E has come a long way since its first season in 2014/15

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

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