NEXTEV TCR team to keep two motors for Formula E season three

The NEXTEV TCR Formula E team will stick with its twin-motor powertrain for season three

NEXTEV TCR team to keep two motors for Formula E season three

After running Nelson Piquet Jr to the inaugural FE drivers' title, the outfit is last in the teams' championship with its heavy dual-motor, single-gear NEXTEV TCR 001.

Piquet and team-mate Oliver Turvey have mustered just three points finishes between them across the first six races, and the team had evaluated reverting to a single-motor concept.

NEXTEV CEO Martin Leach confirmed to Autosport its season-three offering would feature two motors, and that it would begin on-track testing soon.

It is unknown whether the rival DS Virgin Racing squad, which is the only other team currently running two motors in its powertrain, will retain the system for season three.

AUTOSPORT SAYS
Scott Mitchell, Autosport features editor, @ScottAutosport

The prospect of NEXTEV TCR retaining the same powertrain philosophy that has dropped Nelson Piquet Jr from champion to 15th in the points in less than a year seems odd at face value.

But, for proof that the twin-motor concept is not a fruitless endeavour, look at the DS Virgin Racing team.

Sam Bird won in Argentina and is third in the drivers' championship. It can be made to work as a viable powertrain option and even matching the DS Virgin performance levels from this season would be a considerable step forward for NEXTEV TCR.

Two motors are heavier than one but it's worth remembering that if you do have two motors they will be smaller than one big one.

This could have packaging benefits, but also means that you're not simply doubling the weight of a rival's motor - it's actually more likely to be half again.

That means the weight disadvantage does exist but it's not as insurmountable as can be made out.

And while finding ways to trim back weight is vital and, more importantly, difficult, paddock consensus is that a year's worth of data and the experience of materials says it's possible.

As an example, the Magneti Marelli motor Mahindra will use for season three is 3kg lighter than the original-spec McLaren offering it is replacing.

This may seem small but with something as heavy as the Formula E base car, and the overall weight limit being reduced to 880kg, everything counts.

Season three should be a fascinating technical challenge even if there aren't seismic changes to the roadmap - how the NEXTEV solution performs will be just one factor to watch out for.

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