New Extreme E electric SUV series to launch with Formula E

Formula E will operate a new 'Extreme E' electric SUV series that is set to race through challenging locations and terrains such as the Himalayas and the Arctic

New Extreme E electric SUV series to launch with Formula E

Autosport understands the project, which is still in the early stages of development but is expected to launch in 2020, has been presented to manufacturers as a spec-series with limited areas for open development.

These include motors and bodywork, although the chassis will be a set specification, and the cars will resemble road SUV models.

The project will be led by 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and recently appointed McLaren Formula 1 sporting director Gil de Ferran and is supported by FE CEO and founder Alejandro Agag.

"Extreme E - all I can say is that it's a new project that will be operated by Formula E," Agag told Autosport.

"Formula E will take over the operation of that new project - the new project is still in very early stages.

"But hopefully Gil de Ferran, who is leading the project, will do an announcement soon with more details. But that's all I can say."

When asked about the importance of electric SUV models to road car manufacturers, Agag said: "SUV is the name of the game - that's where the big manufacturers are going and that's where I think this will be."

By setting strict limits on development areas, but allowing potential manufacturers that wish to enter the series to invest their technology in specific parts, Extreme E would resemble the technical competition FE has used since its second season in 2015/16.

But unlike the single-seater series, which maintained the same spec chassis for its first four seasons before introducing its aggressively-style Gen2 car for the upcoming 2018/19 championship, Extreme E would let manufacturers use silhouette racing designs of their own road-going models.

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