Formula E has come on leaps and bounds since it was established in 2014. In just two seasons it will have more manufacturer teams in it than Formula 1 and, as a result, it is attracting more and more world-class talent. Yet the all-electric series remains a divisive topic at PH for the very simple reason that the cars it features are rather unspectacular to behold. Or certainly to listen to, at any rate.
Would that change if we could all have a go, though? Because that has now become a very real possibility for anyone with the resources as the entire field of first-generation Formula E cars has gone on sale, having been retired from action.
According to Bloomberg, the cars will be priced from around £150,000 to £250,000, with each car’s value depending on a variety of factors including its success and the driver who drove it. They’ll come ready to race and with supporting equipment, including the plug to charge its Williams Advanced Engineering-developed 28 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. Each will retain its 270hp electric motor, produced by McLaren Electronic Systems.
Ok, so the prospect of ownership is unlikely to stir excitement in a PHer like a V12-engined Ferrari 412 T2 or cutting edge F1 racer from the pre-turbo V6 era (like the Sauber C30 recently purchased by PHer poppopbangbang). But let's not forget that Formula E cars are considerably more simple and cost-effective to run, offering plug-and-play performance (literally) and using treaded Michelin tyres that are, compared to the sticky rubber of an average single seater, as hard as blocks of wood.
Formula E has said that it expects most racers to end up in the collections of wealthy motorsport enthusiasts, but there’s nothing stopping you from using a car for trackdays or even competition, should you find a class for the car to compete in. These first Formula E cars offer just 12 to 17 laps of running before they need a re-charge, meaning the ones that do get used are probably destined for a future of hill sprints.
As Volkswagen showed with its record-breaking ID R Pikes Peak prototype, that might just be the best place for them...