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DS Tests Interim Season Five Powertrain

DS Performance has run an interim Season Five powertrain for the first time this month, ahead of 2018/19 debut…

Photo: DS Virgin Racing

As it increasingly focuses on Season Five development, DS Performance has run an interim 2018/19 powertrain for the first time.

The French manufacturer, which is part of the PSA Group, undertook the tests this month at its base near Versailles, ahead of the first planned track running in March.

DS, under it’s full title of DS Automobiles, will become an official manufacturer for Season Five, when it is expected to partner the Techeetah team.

It remains to be seen if it will provide Virgin Racing, the team with which it has been partnered with since Season Two, a powertrain for 2018/19.

“It is true that we have made a recent test with a new powertrain,” DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon told e-racing365. “This is an intermediary powertrain and not the final one that will run for Season Five.

“We did this to validate some design solutions we have been working on. This was done on our test bench.

“When you work on the efficiency of the powertrain you can do a lot on the test bench, so we are using this time well.”

With Spark and other suppliers of the new-generation Formula E car having now provided information to manufacturers, work has accelerated with some entrants having already formed bespoke test teams.

“We have some information on the new car so we can start to work on the specs for Season Five,” Mestelan-Pinon said. “Spark still has work to do to finalize the car, especially with the Halo system.

“Concerning the battery, we already have the information we need. We don’t miss anything at the moment, we have what we need to prepare for Season Five and get our car on the track.”

As a registered manufacturer, DS will receive one of the gen-2 cars for an allocated amount of testing. E-racing365 understands that this is currently set at two joint-manufacturer test days, possibly in late February.

The nine selected manufacturers of BMW AG, ABT (Audi), Mahindra, DS, Jaguar Land Rover, Penske, Renault, NextEV and Venturi will then have 15 days each for testing.

Mestelan-Pinon also revealed that DS engineers would be downscaled at Virgin Racing in order to focus on the Season Five program. This has been orchestrated in agreement with Virgin Racing.

“We need all the resources we have to develop the new car and we will have less engineers at the races [in Season Four] but my technical director [Thomas Chevaucher] will still be there but we will have less,” he said. “Virgin will be more involved in all the race aspects.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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