'Futuristic' look among Formula E changes planned for season three

Formula E is evaluating a bodykit update for season three and a concept car-inspired long-term design for a more "futuristic" look

'Futuristic' look among Formula E changes planned for season three

The facelift for the 2016/17 campaign has not been finalised but could comprise a new nose shape and front wing design.

Nissan and BMW in talks over 2016/17 Formula E programmes

It is believed FIA president Jean Todt has played a part in the push for an update, which is not intended to yield an aerodynamic gain and is being done for aesthetic reasons.

Autosport understands it could cost anywhere in the region of 5000 to 20,000 euro, depending on the complexity of the redesign.

The appearance of the cars is likely to take a more dramatic shift when a new chassis comes in for season five, the tender for which demands applicants submit at least one "futuristic" bodywork design in their bid.

"It's definitely on the cards to do something with the look of the cars," series CEO Alejandro Agag told Autosport.

"There are a few options to change. The easiest is to change the nose and front wing.

"There are some cool designs in there. That takes about three months so we'll have to make a decision in May.

"It will look radically different in phase two from phase one, and look like the single-seater of the future."

OTHER SEASON THREE UPGRADES ON THE CARDS

While technology changes are at a minimum for season three, drivers will be able to regenerate energy at 150kW instead of 100kW, meaning there should in theory be more energy available if the drivers/powertrains can harvest it successfully.

To manage this, the Williams Advanced Engineering batteries will have an improved cooling system, a cell refresh and an updated cell containment system.

For season three Spark is also considering upgrading the steering wheel, which paddock rumour places at a cost of up to 40,000 euro if it allows for a button-based brake-bias adjustment system.

Currently the drivers have to take their hand off the steering wheel to alter the brake bias using a knob.

"It's from the same company, it's just an upgraded wheel," said Andretti Autosport's Roger Griffiths.

"It has a lot more functionality, and is essentially future-proofing the car. We've tried to encourage it to be a carry-over part for season five.

"It's becoming a little more complex than first thought and with complexity comes costs so there's a chance it could get postponed.

"If it costs too much money and we've got four cars to update we're not going to be too keen."

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Author Scott Mitchell
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