until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Formula E won’t reveal new Gen3 car until early 2022

by Sam Smith
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The Gen3 Formula E car which has been billed as a pivotal design for Formula E’s future growth and expansion will not officially be seen until next year, The Race has discovered.

This is despite the car having already been tested and an event being planned for a presentation to teams and Formula E stakeholders next month.

The timing of when the car will be unveiled is seen as crucial by Formula E and the FIA, as both do not which to infringe on the final season of Gen2 competition which is scheduled to start at Diriyah, Saudi Arabia in January.

This has caused headaches for the championship on precisely when to issue the first visuals of the car.

The Race understands that the initial plan included a possible launch at the 2022 Geneva International Motorshow in February, but the event was recently cancelled due to ongoing issues regarding the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, the possibility exists for manufacturers, teams and key stakeholders to be presented with the finished car in the coming weeks.

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This will be the first step in showcasing the model before a probable phase of teasing imagery reveals for media and public consumption throughout the early and mid-term phase of the 2022 season.

Manufacturers will receive their cars next April and then begin reliability and development with their own powertrains and the crucial front-MGU package, which will be supplied by Atieva, the technology arm of Lucid Motors.

The new car, which The Race revealed earlier this year is likely to revert to a completely open-wheel look and have no traditional rear-wing, is currently being readied for further reliability testing by Spark Racing Technology.

The French company will coordinate the first phase of testing before manufacturers are allowed 13 days of their own testing from April onwards.

The FIA director of the FIA’s Formula E & innovative sport activities department, Frederic Bertrand, has told The Race that the governing body sees the Gen 3 project as “not only the car but the championship evolution for that period.”

“The car will be one of the bigger emblematic signs of what the championship will be, and how it will evolve,” he said.

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Bertrand also emphasised the need for a clear distinction between the final Gen2 season and the new era of Formula E cars in the next rules set which could kick in as early as December 2022 should the promoters choose to return to a staggered year season as it ran in the first six campaigns from 2014 to 2020.

The last championship was the first to take place entirely in one calendar year and the 2022 season is set to follow suit, taking place between January and August.

“We need to secure that season eight [2022] is launched in a proper and remains attractive enough,” said Bertrand.

“Showing the new one [car] too early would make potentially season eight a little bit less fancy, and we need to keep that fanciness and the end level of attractiveness of season eight [2022] as high as possible.

“Then we would like that the season nine car (Gen3) is part of making season eight exciting and not part of making season eight less exciting.”

The FIA is expected to next month officially publish the list of manufacturers that will take part in the first Gen 3 season in 2023.

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DS Automobiles, Jaguar, Mahindra, Nissan, NIO 333, Penske and Porsche are the seven already confirmed, while Mercedes has dropped off the list after gaining a special dispensation for initially registering while it deliberated over its future in the championship earlier this year.

However, a new registration could still be formalised should the Mercedes EQ team find a suitable partner to continue as a manufacturer in to 2023.

“We are still expecting a clear expression of what they want to do with this,” Bertrand told The Race.

“Would they like to transform into something different or not?

“This we are waiting for a proper answer from them.”

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