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BMW’s Formula E car will influence the next i8

German carmaker shows off brand new electric racer, with lots of road car ties

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This is BMW’s brand new Formula E car. And if you’re not yet excited about motor racing without engine noise, then focus instead on the fact it’s heavily linked to BMW’s road cars. Specifically, its electrified i cars.  

That works both ways, too. So this car – the unsexily titled BMW iFE.18 – has had its electric innards developed and built by the same people as the BMW i3’s plug-in powertrain, but its clever construction could filter back to the next i sports car.

It’ll have a bit more power than an i3, mind. While BMW hasn’t released firm numbers, we’re promised double the performance in a setup that’s half the weight. With an electric i3 rated at about 170bhp, and next season’s Formula E cars set to produce around 335bhp in qualifying, the maths certainly checks out.

So it’ll be quick. It looks quick too; BMW has taken into account how much closer spectators see Formula E cars compared to other race series, and designed its aesthetics to suit a different viewing angle.

Part X-wing fighter, part F22 Raptor, and with a weeny bit of BMW V12 LMR Le Mans car thrown in – the wheel arches and flashes of white, specifically – it looks fantastic. With season five of Formula E set to have more diversity in the looks and tech of cars, this is a promising sign of just how exciting the grid will appear.

The iFE.18’s s two drivers will be António Félix da Costa, a Formula E racer since the series began, and Alexander Sims, a British racer with lots of GT car experience, much of which has been in BMWs.

Formula E’s fifth season kicks off in December in Saudi Arabia. You can find out what you need to know right here

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