BMW formally launches iFE.18 for Formula E
BMW has formally launched its full factory entry into the 2018-’19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship today in Munich. The manufacturer has enjoyed a technical partnership with Andretti Autosport for several seasons, but now breaks out formally on its own.
The newly renamed BMW i Andretti Motorsport has premiered the BMW iFE.18 car. Formula E debuts its second generation car, dubbed Gen2, for the next season of racing and a new Michelin Formula E tire has been developed in conjunction with that new car.
Antonio Felix da Costa continues with the team, while Alexander Sims has been confirmed as the second driver.
Sims has raced full-time in the U.S. the last two years, with BMW Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sims and Connor De Phillippi have won the last two IMSA races in the GT Le Mans class this season.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt explained the technology with this new car.
“BMW’s expertise in the BMW iFE.18 is primarily in the heart of the vehicle, the drivetrain,” he said. “We told the production engineers designing the electric motor and inverter: ‘Forget about all the considerations you would usually have in development, and just think about performance, the greatest efficiency, the lowest weight. When we’ve reached that point, you can think about how to integrate that into series production later on.’
“Our BMW Motorsport engineers designed the rear-axle including suspension and had to integrate the drivetrain in the rear end of the race car. The knowledge we gain in this highly competitive environment then flows straight back into production development. This is the perfect implementation of our motto: from the racetrack to the road.”
The Andretti Formula E team name changes for the fifth time in as many seasons.
- Fifth season: BMW i Andretti Motorsport
- Fourth season: MS&AD Andretti Formula E
- Third season: MS Amlin Andretti
- Second season: Amlin Andretti Formula E
- First season: Andretti Formula E Team
The new FIA Formula E season opens December 15 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.