Hot on the heels of Audi’s announcement that it would take over the ABT Schaeffler Formula E team to form a full manufacturer works entry, BMW has confirmed it will do the same. Currently technology partners with the Andretti Formula E team, BMW will increase its involvement and enter as an official manufacturer for the 2018/19 Formula E season, using a car with a newly-developed BMW powertrain.
The team, run by BMW i Motorsport, will provide BMW with a testbed for some of its more sophisticated electric tech – vital for the development of future BMW i models, and a driving force for other manufacturers such as Audi and Jaguar with their own respective works entries. BMW says the involvement in Formula E will definitely influence its road cars in the future.
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“Through our involvement in Formula E, we are addressing the development towards sustainable and emission-free mobility in the automobile industry and are also making a contribution to the brand’s progression to BMW iNEXT,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.
"The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at BMW i Motorsport than in any other project. The result is a technology transfer on a whole new level. We are certainly confident that the BMW Group will benefit greatly from the experience gained in the field of electrotechnology during this project.”
BMW already provides safety and medical cars for Formula E in the form of its i8 and i3 models, but a full manufacturer works team offers a greater level of involvement. It will be interesting to see how great an influence this has on BMW's i electric road car division.