BMW formally unveiled its ABB FIA Formula E Championship Gen 2 contender, the iFE.18, at a launch event in Munich on Friday.
The German manufacturer has furthered its technical partnership with Andretti Autosport for the 2018-19 works effort, which will compete under the BMW i Andretti Motorsport banner.
The iFE.18, which is the marque’s first electric racing car, has already completed several runs ahead of the Oct. 1 manufacturer testing deadline, most recently at Calafat in Spain this week.
Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims were announced as the drivers while Andretti’s Roger Griffiths will lead race operations as team principal.
BMW entered a technical partnership with the U.S. squad for Season Three before stepping up its involvement last season ahead of its fully-fledged works entry in 2018-19.
“Formula E is not only an innovative and spectacular race series that has established itself as one of the top race series in the world with a totally new approach to sustainability and events within just a few years,” said Klaus Froehlich, member of the board of management at BMW.
“For BMW, it is also the perfect test lab for production development. Our experience from series production benefits the drivetrain of the race car.”
Parts of the iFE.18 have been manufactured in the same facility as the BMW i3 road car, while the drivetrain was developed by the same engineering team.
The manufacturer has stated that findings from the racing program will “flow directly back” into the development of future production powertrains.
“BMW’s expertise in the BMW iFE.18 is primarily in the heart of the vehicle, the drivetrain,” said BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt.
“Our BMW Motorsport engineers designed the rear-axle including suspension and had to integrate the drivetrain in the rear end of the race car.
“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.’
“This is the perfect implementation of our motto: from the racetrack to the road.”
BMW also announced a string of partners for its first season as a Formula E manufacturer, including engineering giant Magna which e-racing365 revealed in May as a likely technical supplier.
Other partners include Swiss private banking firm Julius Baer, sustainable powertool manufacturer Einhell, and BMW audio solutions provider Harman Kardon.
Munich Event Kicks Off Worldwide Launch
The unveiling of the BMW iFE.18 in Munich marked the start of a seven-stop global tour promoting the car ahead of its race debut at the Riyadh E-Prix in December.
Starting on Friday evening, BMW will launch a “virtual tour” of the car around the streets of Germany’s third-largest city using motion mapping technology.
The demonstration will then head off to other world cities including Oslo (Sept. 17), London (Sept. 20), New York (Sept. 24), Detroit (Sept. 26), Mexico City (Sept. 29) and Hong Kong (Oct. 4).