The second-generation Formula E car has already lapped quicker with the same maximum power allowance than its predecessor after just a handful of testing days.
The SRT05e prototype has been recently running in France and Spain with an emphasis on several key factors to ensure the first production run is available for Season Five-registered manufacturers in the spring.
E-racing365 has also learned that a Mahindra powertrain is being used in the initial tests.
This powertrain has been provided by the Indian manufacturer, but it is understood that no Mahindra team members are allowed to attend the test or view data from it.
The testing, which is being conducted in secrecy, is believed to have been undertaken using just 200kW power so far, the same peak which is currently used in qualifying.
This has given a comparison to the current car and a time just under one-second faster in like-for-like technical conditions has already been achieved.
While one of the test drivers to have sampled the car, Frederic Makowiecki, would not go in to detail about the prototype, he described how the car has so far surpassed expectations.
“The car looks really exciting and different,” Makowiecki told e-racing365.
“What you will see is a stunning future look of Formula E. Already the car has gone faster than the original and it is a very early stage of development. This is obviously very encouraging.
“The car feels stable and the work we carried out went well.
“I would say that we are at 90 percent completion on our aims to get the tire parameters completed for the product in Season Five.”
The testing has taken place at several venues, including the little-known Circuit Ecuyers in France, as well as the Monteblanco and Guadix test facilities in Spain.
Makowiecki took part in Season Five tire development testing last month, while GP3 driver Anthoine Hubert has concentrated on car and battery development.
Former Audi DTM driver Adrien Tambay and current Audi factory driver Benoit Treluyer have also driven the car.
So far, the SRT05e prototype has not featured the Halo safety structure, which is due to be added to the car in readiness for delivery to manufacturers in February.
Ultimately, the car is set to run at a maximum 220kW in race spec with the 54kWh usable energy available to drivers from the new battery. This will guarantee a single car can complete an E-Prix.
E-racing365 believes that the Season Five battery has come in under the targeted weight.
The product has been built by the Atieva technology company, with the entire project to be led, assembled and technically serviced by McLaren Advanced Technologies.
The casing of the battery is understood not to be “plugged in to the chassis” with the safety panel included in the monocoque.
Spark, the FIA and McLaren have worked on reducing the weight of the overall car by using advanced materials to compensate for the heavier battery, which has to accommodate additional cells.
The car is set to be revealed early next year, possibly being presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March.