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The Innovative Technologies at the Heart of Audi's e-tron FE07 Formula E Racecar

With the new season set to debut next month and Audi’s announcement that it will be its last in the competition, we take a closer look at the e-tron FE07, the German carmaker’s latest weapon in the quest for Formula E glory.
Audi e-tron FE07 7 photos
Photo: Audi AG
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The luxury car manufacturer has been a part of Formula E since its inaugural 2014/15 season, partnering with long-term customers ABT Sportsline to form Audi Sport ABT.

Initially, the team used standardized cars with little technological input from Audi, but that changed starting with the 2017/18 season when the carmaker started to develop its own cars.

After a disappointing season that saw them finish sixth in the Constructors’ standings, the team is determined to bow out of the competition as winners with the help of its latest racecar, the e-tron FE07.

The single-seater is built on the Spark SRT05E chassis made from carbon fiber with an aluminum honeycomb core. It uses a fully independent pushrod suspension system with steel wishbones and two shock absorbers for each wheel.

Audi e\-tron FE07
Photo: Audi AG
Power comes from an all-new electric powertrain that was fully developed in-house by Audi for the first time.

While in recent years a continually optimized version of the powertrain, jointly developed with technology partner Schaeffler, was always used, work on the new MGU inverter unit for the coming world championship started from scratch. We went to the limits in all areas of this project,” says Stefan Aicher, Head of E-Powertrain Development at Audi Sport.

The result of this painstaking development process is the MGU05, a single-speed electric powertrain with an internal rotor concept, external magnets, a highly efficient cooling system, and six electrical phases.

Audi e\-tron FE07's MGU05
Photo: Audi AG
Using lightweight materials and cleverly integrating the unit inside the vehicle, Audi engineers managed to reduce its weight compared to previous versions, with the unit now weighing less than 35 kg (77 lbs).

The team also worked extensively to increase the efficiency of the new powertrain, pruning numerous challenging testing cycles that pushed it to its limits. This led to an overall efficiency of more than 95%, according to the engineers.

Like all Formula E cars, the e-tron F07 is supplied with electric power by a 385-kg (849-lb) battery developed by McLaren Applied Technologies. The 52-kWh lithium-ion pack, which can be recharged in about 45 minutes, is mounted between the driver’s seat and the MGU.

Audi e\-tron FE07
Photo: Audi AG
In terms of performance, it develops a maximum output of 250 kW (340 PS/335 hp) for practice and qualifying. For races, the maximum power is limited to 200 kW (272 PS/268 hp), according to the competition’s regulations. The car can accelerate from zero to 100 kph (62 mph) in approximately 2.8 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 240 kph (149 mph).

For the upcoming season, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will attempt to win it all with the help of long-time driver Lucas di Grassi and Formula E newcomer Rene Rast. The latter earns a permanent seat with Audi after replacing Daniel Abt for last season’s final six races.

The e-tron F07 will also be used by Audi customer team Envision Virgin Racing which finished fourth in the prior season, seven points clear of the works team.

The new season is set to debut on 26 February with the Diriyah ePrix held in Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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