EVs & Mobility

This article was published on April 29, 2022

How the Formula E Gen3 is shaping up to be the world’s most efficient race car

It's light, fast, and seriously powerful


How the Formula E Gen3 is shaping up to be the world’s most efficient race car Image by: FIA/Formula E
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Story by

Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

On Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Monaco E-Prix, FIA and Formula E finally unveiled their next electric race car. It’s called Gen3 — as in, the third generation vehicle used by the series — and comes with some BIG upgrades and claimed world’s firsts.

Inspired by a fighter jet, the Gen3 features a completely reworked exterior that makes it look kinda like a modern F18 aircraft on wheels.

Formula E Gen3
Credit: FIA/Formula E

Formula E believes that the new car design, which is both smaller and lighter than the Gen2 model, will enable faster, more agile wheel-to-wheel racing, as it’s built for high-speed street circuits.

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The Gen3’s weight reduction is also coupled with a significant power increase. The rear motor now comes with a 350kW (469hp) output, from 250kW (335hp) in the Gen2.

Plus, there’s a new front motor delivering an extra 250kW (335hp), making it the first formula car to have both front and rear powertrains — and as we can assume, all-wheel-drive as well.

Formula E Gen3
Credit: FIA/Formula E

To back the Gen3’s efficiency claims, Formula E explains that the 350kW electric motor can convert 95% of its energy to mechanical power, compared to around 40% of an internal combustion engine.

But what’s mostly making the vehicle the most efficient race car ever built is, according to its manufacturers, that more than 40% of the energy used during a race is produced by regenerative braking.

This regenerative capability and the addition of the front powertrain is also why the Gen3 — again for the first time — is ditching commonly used rear hydraulic brakes.

Formula E Gen3
Credit: FIA/Formula E

With a top speed of over 332km/h (200mph), the Gen3 is the fastest Formula E vehicle yet, and we can expect lap times to be significantly faster than before.

So far, the only person who’s driven the Gen3, Formula E driver Benoit Treluyer, described it to The Race as “a seriously quick and agile racing car.”

Fortunately, we won’t have to wait that long to see it in action. The Gen3 will compete in Formula E’s season 9 World Championship, along with DS Automobiles, Maserati, Jaguar, Mahindra, NIO 333, Nissan, and Porsche.

In the meantime, watch it hit the road in the following reveal video:

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