New centrepiece

Formula E will be held as an official FIA world championship for the first time in 2021. Audi will also compete as a factory team under the new sporting title of the all-electric racing series. The technical heart of this is the completely newly developed electric drivetrain and the Audi MGU05. This innovative motor-generator unit provides the drive for the two Audi e-tron FE07 racing cars. In terms of personnel, Audi has also repositioned itself for the world championship premiere of Formula E and changed its driver pairing for the first time in six years.

11/30/2020 Reading Time: 6 min

Audi e-tron FE07 and Audi MGU05

Audi TechTalk: The launch of the Audi e-tron FE07 and the Audi MGU05, including Allan McNish, Lucas di Grassi, Tristan Summerscale and Stefan Aicher.

Audi e-tron FE07 on the race track

New electronic drivetrain

Audi MGU05

The new Formula E motor-generator unit, the Audi MGU05, is an electric single-speed drivetrain with an internal rotor concept, external magnets, a highly efficient cooling system and six electric phases. The innovative design was developed at Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau. “We went to the limits in all areas,” says Stefan Aicher, Head of E-Drive Development at Audi Sport. For Aicher and his team of engineers, work on the new MGU inverter unit began with a clean sheet of paper. In previous years, Audi had used a season-by-season version of the powertrain developed in cooperation with technology partner Schaeffler in Formula E, which had been further optimized each season.

The Audi MGU05 in the Audi e-tron FE07

Audi e-tron FE07, Audi MGU05 and Stefan Aicher

Increased efficiency

The new MGU inverter unit from Audi weighs less than 35 kilograms. This represents a significant weight saving compared to the previous powertrain. The Audi Sport technicians made this possible by using lightweight materials, among other things. “This was an extraordinary team effort by all of those involved,” says project manager Stefan Aicher.

Cut-away view of the Audi e-tron FE07

Reduced weight

Another important development success of the Audi MGU05: The new powertrain achieves an overall efficiency of more than 95 percent. This is of the utmost importance in the battle for the world championship title, which is being awarded for the first time in Formula E. After all, efficiency, i.e. the best possible use and management of the amount of battery and recuperation energy permitted by the regulations, is the most important success factor in Formula E. “That’s why we are doing everything we can to reduce energy loss within the system to an absolute minimum,” says Tristan Summerscale, Formula E Project Manager at Audi Sport.

Audi e-tron FE07 and Audi MGU05

Tough testing

A key factor in this progress was also the extensive work carried out on the company’s in-house test benches. In numerous extremely demanding material test cycles, the drivetrain was loaded to its limits to raise the entire high-voltage system to a maximum performance level. “If you compare our new MGU to a combustion engine with a comparable output of 250 kW, our efficiency is not only twice as high, but our weight of under 35 kilogrammes is also many times lower,” emphasizes Tristan Summerscale. “This clearly shows what an efficient solution an electric drivetrain is.”

Audi e-tron FE05 in Mexico City in 2019

Audi e-tron FE05 in Mexico City in 2019

Remarkably efficient

In 2019, with a dramatic final lap drama, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler proved how crucial the efficient use of the available energy in a Formula E car is during a race: for the last lap in Mexico City, factory driver Lucas di Grassi had exactly the amount of power on hand as he needed to overtake the front runner, who had already been forced to conserve energy, a few metres before the finish line and win the race.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in Valencia 2020

ABT Sportsline

In the new world championship, the seventh season of Formula E, ABT Sportsline will again be responsible for the preparation and deployment at the race track. The team from Kempten is also a co-founder of the racing series. They were successful in Formula E from 2014 to 2017, initially as a private team and then handed over their grid spot to Audi. The team continues to operate under the official name Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

Lucas di Grassi and the Audi RS e-tron GT prototype

Audi RS e-tron GT Prototyp. Prototype, does not meet the series production standard.

Roadmap E

The involvement with the Audi e-tron FE07 in the Formula E World Championship is a perfect match for Audi’s “Roadmap E” on the road: The brand intends to launch more than 30 electrified models by 2025. The hunt for the first world championship titles in the all-electric racing series for drivers and teams has a double meaning for Audi: on the one hand, as sporting competition at the highest international level, and on the other hand, as an ideal platform for the transformation of the brand towards sustainable and digital premium mobility.

Audi e-tron S Sportback

Audi e-tron S Sportback*

Transfer to production cars

“When you look at rallying, touring cars, Le Mans or now Formula E, we have always linked the relevance of technology transfer from motorsport to the road,” says Allan McNish. As Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, he is responsible for Formula E racing for the Audi brand.

Audi e-tron S Sportback: Power consumption, combined*: 28.3–26.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 28.1–25.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron S Sportback: Power consumption, combined*: 28.3–26.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 28.1–25.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron FE07

New design

Dynamically fresh

The world championship car, the Audi e-tron FE07, presents itself in a fresh, dynamic design: In addition to the already proven elements in the spectacular luminous orange and the striking green of technology partner Schaeffler, the entire front end, for example, is given a white primer coat compared to the previous year’s look. With Castrol as one of the world’s leading lubricant brands and the fashion and lifestyle company Casamoda, two new partners have come on board at Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the world championship premiere.

Lucas di Grassi and René Rast

New driver duo

Lucas di Grassi

Lucas di Grassi

The Brazilian is and will remain one of the firm fixtures at Audi Sport and in Formula E. With 32 podiums, 10 wins and 796 points in the first six seasons, Lucas di Grassi is more successful than any other driver in the all-electric racing series. In addition to the race track, di Grassi is also a committed ambassador for electric mobility. His victory at the Formula E premiere in Beijing in 2014, becoming the drivers’ champion in 2016/2017 and clinching the team’s title with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in 2017/2018 will remain unforgotten.

René Rast

René Rast

Following his renewed DTM title win with Audi in 2020 and his successful Formula E debut for the brand last season in Berlin, René Rast will contest his first full season for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in 2021. In the six final rounds of the 2019/2020 Formula E Championship, the three-time DTM champion from Germany proved that he should not be underestimated in a Formula E cockpit either. With his first participation in Super Pole during qualifying, his first points and his first podium, Rast impressed right away.

Audi e-tron FE07 on the race track

New title

World championship

In addition to Formula 1, endurance racing, rally and rallycross, Formula E will receive the title of a world championship from the FIA from 2021 onwards. This will officially make the racing series, which has already been successful globally for many years, another mainstay of international motorsport. Twelve teams, 24 drivers and a total of ten manufacturers, including the four German premium brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, will take part in the first Formula E World Championship. The series continues to hold its races on four continents, all of them as one-day events. Driving is done on specially constructed city circuits in the middle of metropolises like New York City, Paris or Berlin.

Formula E

Audi e-tron FE07 in the garage
Audi e-tron FE07 on the race track
Audi e-tron FE07 on the race track

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