15 Jun 20

WATCH: That time a cheetah raced a Formula E car

What happens when a Formula E car and one of natures fastest animals go head-to-head? In 2017, we found out.

DS Techeetah's double champ Jean-Eric Vergne strapped into a Gen1 Formula E car back in 2017 in Western Cape, South Africa to see if he could outsprint the world's fastest land mammal with a little battery-electric support from the Spark SRT01E. 

The cheetah's three-second dash from 0-100 kph and top speed of 112 kph meant that it'd be a close run thing. So, who won?

Drag race: Formula E car vs cheetah

The big cat was quicker off the mark and managed to give Vergne a run for his money but the Gen1 car bit back over a longer distance, just edging the cheetah by the half-way point of the 100-metre drag.

Under threat

The Cannes award-winning film was shot ahead of the 2017/18 season-opening Hong Kong E-Prix, to raise awareness of the threats that climate change is imposing on wildlife ahead of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly.

The cat is among the ten animals worst affected by climate change, and prior to shooting, research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences had indicated that just 7,100 remained in the wild in the world - collapsing from an estimated population of 100,000 worldwide in 1900.

A loss of some 91 per cent of their historic habitat over the 20th century in Africa and southwest Asia was earmarked as the direct cause by the same study.

The ICUN Red List of Threatened Species places cheetahs on the vulnerable list with latest numbers indicating just 6,674 mature animals remain in the wild, with the population on a downward trend.

Sanctuary

At the time, JEV said: "There are only around 7,000 cheetahs still living in the wild and we have a strong desire to raise awareness for the main threats they face, such as illegal trade of cubs for pets, loss of prey due to habitat loss and fragmentation aggravated by climate change."

Since then, he and DS Techeetah have supported The Big Cat Sanctuary, with the Frenchman becoming an ambassador for the charity and his DS E-TENSE FE19 and DS E-TENSE FE20 both being named after sanctuary resident Bajrami - pictured below!

Jean-Éric Vergne at Big Cat Sanctuary | DS TECHEETAH

Watch the behind-the-scenes documentary of the famous race