BMW i Andretti Motorsport has commenced an electrifying few weeks of season five announcements and unveiled their team ahead of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship - complete with drivers, team management and the long-awaited BMW iFE.18.
At BMW Welt in Munich, Andretti stalwart Antonio Felix da Costa, was joined on stage alongside new team-mate Alexander Sims. Da Costa said: “I know Formula E really well and was always convinced that BMW would enter as a manufacturer one day. Now, to be part of this team is an incredible motivator.”
Sims - an experienced BMW works driver - had his first taste of Formula E while testing the car ahead of the inaugural season in 2014, as well as Andretti’s season four model last year.
“Formula E has quickly become the place for top manufacturers and top drivers to meet. I’m honoured to be entrusted with taking on this adventure in collaboration with BMW i Motorsport,” said Sims.
The team will continued to be led by Team Principal Roger Griffiths with full support from the Andretti Autosport team and Michael Andretti. “I can’t wait to see BMW i Andretti Motorsport hit the race track in season five. I believe we have the right partners, drivers and personnel in place to compete at the very top level of Formula E,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Everyone on both sides have been dedicated to the development of the new BMW iFE.18 and I look forward to seeing it in action. We’re entering not only a new era of Formula E, but of motorsport as a whole”.
The world-famous logo of the German manufacturer is adorned for the first time on the nose of the fully-electric Gen2 car, with the iconic blue, white and black quarters creating the basis for a truly unique livery which will be undoubtedly recognisable through the high-speed city circuits.
The same technology used to create the BMW i3, the official medical car for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, has produced the drivetrain of the new Gen2 car.
“BMW’s expertise in the BMW iFE.18 is primarily in the heart of the vehicle, the drivetrain,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “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.’ Our BMW Motorsport engineers designed the rear-axle including suspension and had to integrate the drivetrain in the rear end of the race car. The knowledge we gain in this highly competitive environment then flows straight back into production development. This is the perfect implementation of our motto: from the racetrack to the road.”
“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. For BMW, it’s also the perfect test lab for production development. The technology transfer between motorsport and series production is intense. Our experience from series production benefits the drivetrain of the race car,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development and Motorsport.
To watch the iFE.18 make its public debut on-track at pre-season testing in Valencia, click here to register.