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ERA Cars to Be ‘Quicker Than Formula 4’

Low-cost ERA Championship cars set to be quicker than Formula 4 but cheaper…

Photo: e-racing365

The Mitsu-Bachi F110e chassis that forms the basis of the new ERA Championship is set to be quicker than the Formula 4 car it is based on, owing to its electric powertrain.

The electric single-seater series was announced last year and had its initial rollout earlier this week in an event at Circuit Zolder.

The car is based on the Dome F110, one of the homologated cars certified for FIA Formula 4, but with a 130 kW electric motor and a number of other modifications made by series organizer The Driving Force.

It’s expected that the end result will be quicker than a standard Formula 4 car, owing to the way electric power is delivered, according to ERA’s technical and business director Dieter Vanswijgenhoven.

“We’re expecting it to be quicker around the track because we have got similar power, a little bit more, but obviously we’ve got the power constantly there,” he told e-racing365.

“Out of the corner, we’d be a lot quicker. It will vary on tracks how it will compare but we’re expecting it to be quicker than a standard Formula 4.”

Formula 4 cars are capped at 160 hp (119 kW), compared to the ERA car’s 130 kW output, equating to 174 hp.

Despite potentially lapping quicker than petrol-powered Formula 4 cars, the series will also be more affordable, with Season One entry costs capped at €100,000, depending on class.

A couple of other minor changes have been made to the car, but largely cosmetic and with no real change to the chassis itself.

“We are making some small changes to the looks of it so the engine cover is a little bit different and needs to be different because of certain safety things,” explained Vanswijgenhoven.

“In the Innovation class, the teams are allowed to change the endplates of the front wing so they can make some aero pods in front of the front wheels, to give some interesting different looks on the track.”

Besides the electric powertrain and minimal cosmetic alterations, the fundamentals of the F110e are true to the petrol-powered F4 car, according to Dome’s F110 project manager Yoshi Arimatsu.

“Basically, it’s the same,” Arimatsu told e-racing365.

“No modifications to the monocoque or the chassis at all. Instead of the engine and gearbox, they put a subframe to accommodate the electric power unit.

“The other dimensions stay the same. Basically, they can use as many components as they wish, but from the monocoque to the front, it’s 100 percent identical.”

The car’s range through its 24 kWh, 400-volt battery will allow it to complete a full race distance of 23 minutes.

Two races will take place per event, both on Sunday, while qualifying is on Saturdays. Range limitations could play a role in qualifying, which will be made up of two 15-minute sessions without charging in between.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations at the University of Birmingham. Contact Jake

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