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Nissan Rumored to Use McLaren Powertrain Components

McLaren strongly rumored to be supplying Formula E motors, inverters to Nissan…

Photo: NISMO

Nissan’s first Formula E car is believed to feature key aspects of its powertrain from McLaren Applied Technologies.

E-racing365 understands that the Japanese manufacturer is likely to be working with the British company ahead of its foray into the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with e.dams in the upcoming season.

The motors of the Gen 2 car, which will end its development testing program this week, are believed to be part of a technical package provided by the company.

Renault e.dams used Zytek Automotive motors and inverters until the French manufacturer ended its involvement with the program at the end of last season to give way to Nissan.

It had used the Zytek hardware in conjunction with a McLaren ECU since Season Two.

A switch in suppliers for the new car is believed to have been made last year when the move from Renault to Nissan was formalized.

When contacted by e-racing365 for comment about the team using MAT technology, Nissan Global Motorsports Director Michael Carcamo said: “Nissan has been developing its powertrain with various suppliers, all of which are under [non-disclosure agreements].”

MAT will supply all teams with the Gen 2 battery, which has 54 kWh of useable energy to ensure drivers can complete the full race distance with one car for the first time, having provided the entire grid of motors and inverters in Season One and also supplying a common ECU in recent seasons.

E-racing365 also understands that the Nissan powertrain could be the only one on the grid to feature a unique twin-motor configuration.

Vincent Gaillardot, who was instrumental in Renault e.dams’ successful first three seasons, remains in the technical lead.

Gaillardot and his team were particularly adept at reducing the weight of the powertrain and maximizing the low center of gravity at the rear of the cars, making the possibility of using two motors a major surprise should it be true.

Nissan is set to feature several new engineers after the departure of some key technical staff over the summer.

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam



  1. Avatar


    September 24, 2018 at 10:44 am

    The electric motor provided by McLaren in the first season was derived from the one launched with the McLaren P1 Hypercar. Wonder if the new motors do have any relation with the rumored full electric sports-car that McLaren is developing and to be launched in the next years…

  2. Avatar


    September 24, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    And the manufacturers constantly bang on about how Formula E is so great at speeding up development for their road EVs. How true is that really? Because it seems to me that Renault have fallen behind Hyundai and Kia, who do no EV related motorsport. And I don’t think Kia does any motorsport at all. Not that I’m aware of anyway. And then of course there’s Tesla who are years ahead of everyone, and who also don’t do any motorsport aside from EGT which they’re not involved in.

    • Avatar


      September 25, 2018 at 3:11 am

      I would imagine that depends entriely on how much each manufacturer actually engages with their Formula E program. There’s the teams like Jaguar building their powertrain ‘in house’ and BMW, who have direct cross pollination between their Formula E and iNext programs by way of common engineering teams.

      Of course, if another manufacturer were to, for example, just buy all of their parts from a third party and treat it entirely as a marketing exercise, they will learn a lot less about EVs than those manufacturers who actively engage. Hard to tell where on the spectrum each team sits on that – future e-racing365 feature?

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