You might have heard Monday, but if not, Qualcomm is rolling up to the starting grid and “going racing.” Technically speaking, Qualcomm announced its agreement with Formula E Holdings (FEH) to become an Official Founding Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship, the new international championship featuring race cars powered exclusively by electric energy.
In an earlier missive, I featured some photos of the most current—at the time—Formula E car. As luck would have it, the new car and design were announced and unveiled the next day at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (IAA). What does that mean? Simple? MORE EYE CANDY…
Introducing the Spark-Renault SRT_01E—the official race car of Formula E.
The rear-wheel drive cars will have peak output of around 270 horsepower. That may not sound like much considering the big horsepower numbers manufacturers are offering with cars you and I are able to buy, but keep in mind the SRT_01E probably weighs a thousand pounds less than a four-door Honda Civic and is fitted with aerodynamics that serve a purpose, meaning near-instant acceleration and possibly 3.5 g lateral cornering force (three and a half times the weight of the car).
The SRT_01E’s pedigree is 100% race car. Spark Racing Technology (SRT) will serve as the official constructor. Working closely with SRT is Renault—a name familiar with Formula 1 fans since the late ‘70s—charged with (pun intended) optimizing the electric and electronic layout and performance of the powertrain.
Dallara, a company with roots in F1, Indy and sports car racing, will build the high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum chassis. The motor, gearbox, and electronics will be provided by McLaren, another name steeped in F1 success, and maker of the P1 supercar. Williams, the final F1 luminary contributing to the SRT_01E, will design and supply the batteries and their battery management systems.
Finally, custom tires have been created by Michelin, a company known around the globe for its racing activities.
When the Formula E Championship kicks off its inaugural season in 2014, the race safety cars will be equipped with Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology. In 2015, Qualcomm Halo WEVC will be considered for use with the race cars.
Qualcomm believes that Formula E is the perfect showcase for the public to see cars that are green, good looking and go fast*. In turn, exposure should spur public awareness and interest, and ultimately manufacturer action. The promise of Formula E is that the technology developed in these very sophisticated race cars will soon trickle down into the EVs available to consumers.
Besides Halo, Qualcomm is working with Formula E and venue organizers to ensure that all the races are fully connected and capable of delivering new and exciting mobile fan experiences through smartphones and tablets, such as content delivery, real-time race telemetry, mobile payments, virtual gaming and more.
Ten rounds of racing have been planned for major cities. It’s believed that the selected cities will benefit the most from environmentally friendly cars, setting the stage for “mobility in cities of the future.”
Watch for more about this in future QnQ posts!
*Qualcomm does not endorse exceeding posted speed limits.