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Formula E

Stellantis’ role in Formula E Gen3 design fuels new brand talk

by Sam Smith
3 min read

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A recently formed design cell by the Stellantis Group featuring some of the most notable designers from the automotive world had input on the Gen3 Formula E car that was privately launched to teams and drivers at Valencia this week.

The Race can reveal that the Stellantis Design Studio, which is influenced by the renowned Peugeot Design Laboratory, contributed to the Gen3 project with input on several areas.

The Stellantis Group owns multiple major car manufacturers, including Citroen, Fiat, Maserati and Peugeot.

The third iteration of the Formula E car has been dubbed “the world’s most efficient racing car” and is set to recover “at least” 40% of energy via regenerative braking to complete a race.

This is made possible by a dual-axle design that will manage 250kW at the front and 350kW for the rear of the car to ensure a total regenerative braking application of 600kW. The total power of the car will be 350kW, which equates to approximately 470bhp.

The FIA consulted several manufacturers both inside and outside of the Formula E paddock, a policy that started with the Gen2 car throughout 2017 and 2018.

Bugatti was among the design houses that contributed to the current Formula E car, which will race for the final time in 2022.

“They proposed us also some sketches and some ideas, the same as other manufacturers involved in the championship, and the same as others not involved,” the FIA’s Frederic Bertrand told The Race in Valencia this week.

“It’s true that at the end we agreed with this specific design lab of the Stellantis Group.”

The Stellantis Group was formed in early 2021 amalgamating a multitude of brands from the previous PSA (Peugeot) and FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) group of companies.

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It is already represented in Formula E via the DS Automobiles brand which is a registered manufacturer in the world championship, providing technical, and from this season, operational control of the Techeetah team.

The Race understands that the FIA implemented tight non-disclosure agreement systems throughout the process of consultation on the specific Gen3 work.

“We know how to manage those types of things now in Formula E, we did that also for some parts,” confirmed Bertrand.

The revelation that the Stellantis Group has been involved will add some credence to speculation that it could enter a second brand in the championship, possibly from as early as the 2023 season – which is when the Gen3 car will race for the first time.

Maserati is believed to be considering being involved to some degree, but this is likely to be as a branding exercise with a privateer team.

One of the heads of the Stellantis Design Studio is Klaus Busse, who is also the head of design at Maserati.

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The Gen3 car is set to continue to have some lighting capability on the halo system and design but the specifics of this are yet to be shared.

The Gen2 design innovated the first-ever flashing element to the cockpit safety structure as it flashes different colours to notify which power mode the car is in during aspects of the race.

“We are still working on keeping the part of the halo with some lights, maybe a bit differently than today,” confirmed Bertrand.

“But still light is a very important part of Gen3 because we want that to have that connectivity with the public.”

Bertrand dismissed notions that this was due to more night events being planned for 2023 onwards, saying that “this is not the point number one, but for sure it might be good also if it happened.

“But the plan is more on having a way to communicate with people watching and a way to make people understand more what is going on with those simple signs.”

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