Mahindra Racing's M5Electro Formula E electric racecar debuts in India ahead of 2019 season opener
Mahindra Racing today debuted its contender for the 2019 FIA Formula E Championship. The car christened the M5Electro, has been built as per the new Gen2 specifications coming into force this year and will make its race debut at the season opener next weekend at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Mahindra Racing is one of the ten teams to have been associated with the fully electric racing series since its inception four years ago. The firm has steadily improved on its performances. It finished in eighth position on the championship in its first season but since its first win at the Berlin E-Prix in 2017, the team now has three race wins, 15 podiums and six poles. It competes in Formula E against other manufacturers like Audi, Jaguar and BMW.
All the Gen2 Formula E racecars are a development of the Spark SRT05e. This base car is built by Spark Racing Technologies with assistance from Dallara. The battery pack is the work of McLaren applied Technologies. The teams then retrofit their FIA approved powertrains in these cars. These batter packs also have 85 per cent more range now and run the entire duration of the race, negating the need for pit stops. They also don't have as much aero as an F1 car and run on energy-efficient grooved tyres.
The M5Electro, like the other Formula E cars, has a top speed of 280kmph and gets from 0 to 100kmph in 2.8s. The powertrain has been developed in-house and the car has a max power output of 250kW or 340PS. In race mode, the set-up puts out 200kW (272PS). Mahindra Racing has worked with its team of engineers and new development driver Nick Heidfeld to make its motor as efficient as possible.
The race format for the Formula E championship has been revised too. Races are now time bound. They are 45 minutes and 1 lap long. A function called 'Attack Mode' will also be available to drivers. Available for eight minutes in a race, drivers will get 25kW of additional power. They can avail of this by driving off the racing line through the Activation Zone. In another initiative, five drivers who get the most amount of votes from vans will also have access to 'Fan Boost', which gives them the full 250kW for a five-second window during the second half of the race.
Mahindra also announced its new partnership with Shell at this event. Mahindra Racing and shell will work on the joint development of lubricants and fluids for electric vehicles. The M5Electro also has design that is an evolutiuon of the team's red, white and blue colour scheme, developed keeping in mind the look of the Gen2 car.
In a major development, the Mahindra group and the Mahindra Racing team are also in early talks with central government authorities to bring the all-electric racing series to India. The team is also hoping to nurture new talent and is looking to start an electric karting series, but no concrete steps have been taken in this regard.