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The New Formula E Cars Are Already Way Faster Than Last Season

Illustration for article titled The New Formula E Cars Are Already Way Faster Than Last Season
Photo: All Photos By Formula E

The somewhat awkwardly named BMW i Andretti Motorsport team set the fastest times in Formula E pre-season testing at Valencia this week, some five seconds per lap quicker than the pre-season testing at the same circuit a year ago. The team’s lead driver Antonio Felix da Costa posted the best lap with a 1:16.977s time, absolutely trouncing Oliver Turvey’s 2017 test time of 1:21.822.

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Illustration for article titled The New Formula E Cars Are Already Way Faster Than Last Season

It’s safe to say that the new Gen 2 chassis, with a less restricted and more powerful EV power unit, and enough battery to run a full 45-minute race session will provide a better Formula E experience for fan and driver alike. While BMW held a clear advantage at the pre-season test, setting the fastest times in all sessions, manufacturers have been pouring into the series with racing expertise and lots of cash. As a result, the top 14 cars are currently separated by less than one second on outright pace.

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Illustration for article titled The New Formula E Cars Are Already Way Faster Than Last Season

2017-18 season champion Jean Eric Vergne set the second-fastest time of the three-day test, proving that he’s lost none of his competitive edge. Antonio Felix da Costa’s BMW teammate Alex Sims set the third fastest time of the event, about which da Costa commented “Alex is good - he’s quick! ...he’ll be a pain in the ass!”

Illustration for article titled The New Formula E Cars Are Already Way Faster Than Last Season

The Gen 2 Formula E car is an attractive race car, and features the best-integrated halo safety device of any of the FIA’s open-wheel series. The series still has some gimmicks that may turn away some of the more curmudgeonly motorsport fans. For example, Attack Mode is a new temporary higher power setting gained by passing through an off-racing-line section of the track, similar to those boost pads in Mario Kart. But with sexier race cars, more power, and no more mid-race car swapping, the 2018-19 FE season is shaping up to be one worth watching.

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For full test session times, click here.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

But they are still using treaded tires! Put on some real racing slicks and they might be interesting.