BMW confirm factory Formula E entry in 2018
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Initially revealed as a goal in 2016 as part of BMW's realignment of the motorsport strategy, BMW today confirmed it will join the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer in 2018/19.
The cars, equipped with a newly-developed BMW drivetrain, will be run by the Andretti Formula E team as a BMW’s works entry in the series. Together, BMW and Andretti will compete in exciting races at the heart of some of the biggest cities around the world.
BMW has already begun working on iNEXT programme (next-generation of BMW i models) with full-electric drive. The same engineers that are working on those new road-going electric vehicles will also work on BMW's Formula E efforts, alongside colleagues from BMW's M Motorsport division.
BMW say the experience gained is integrated directly in the development of the next BMW i models, making Formula E the perfect development laboratory for production-related electric powertrain technology.
“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.
“This project is thoroughly driven by technology. We are using Formula E as a development laboratory, operating under the unique conditions that prevail in motor racing – with very unique demands and opportunities."
"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.”
Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport said the team was excited to expand its partnership with the German brand.
“The ongoing collaboration between BMW and Andretti Formula E has provided a strong foundation for BMW’s entry as an official manufacturer," said Andretti.
"We look forward to running BMW’s first all-electric racing drivetrain and competing for the Formula E Championship. BMW is leading the automotive future with the BMW i line and their innovation in electric car technology. I couldn’t pick a more prestigious or historic manufacturer to work with in Formula E.”
A 2018/19 Formula E Championship calendar and driver lineup for Andretti Autosport's first season as a factory BMW team is yet to be announced.