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Our friends' electric // Formula E announce partnership with Renault and Tag Heuer

Published by Mr. C

Organisers behind the FIA Formula E Championship announced two major partnerships today along with revealing 3D concept images of their proposed 2014 challenger. The news sees two more well known motor sport brands sign up to the series, with TAG Heuer and Renault both being named as founding partners.

Released images show the new car decked out in a hyper-reflective chrome aero kit, coupled with polished carbon fibre panels. Details such as the aerodynamic wheel arches and sculpted sidepods serve to give the machinery an outwardly aggressive appearance as well as improving air flow while reducing drag. Important factors for a series keen to promote vehicle efficiency.

Front view of the SRT_01E
Credit: Forumla E Racing Series

All sparks

The catchily named Spark-Renault SRT_01E chassis will be produced by Dallara and developed by Spark Racing Technology in association with Renault. In total 42 cars will be built to compete in the inaugural season.

Renault had previously voiced their interest in the series, suggesting it could be an ideal platform to showcase their talents in electric vehicle development. Today Philippe Klein, a man with a preposterously long job title at Renault Group, outlined the French manufacturers reasons for joining the Formula E fun.

"Formula E is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the excellence and the reliability of our [electric vehicle] solutions. We believe that motorsport is an efficient manner to promote the efficiency of new technologies, and we’re eager to use that single-seater in FIA Formula E championship to show our technology is the best."

It's not all about marketing either, as Patrice Ratti MD of Renault Sport Technologies keenly emphasised.

"Renault’s expertise in electric powertrain design and integration acquired both in production E.V. and in Formula 1 makes Renault Sport a natural partner for Spark in this exciting Formula E project.

"Engineers from Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport Technologies will collaborate with Spark Racing Technology team to optimize the electric and electronic layout and performance of the powertrain. Our experience will be particularly valuable to ensure the safety and reliability of the car."

Ride on time

Meanwhile TAG Heuer will be the series official timekeeper, providing all live timing data for the ten races in the championship's debut season. The timepiece manufacturer describes Formula E as a natural fit having previously supported endeavours such as Electric Masters Karts and a partnership with Tesla Motors.

TAG Heuer increased ties with the McLaren F1 team earlier this year which gels nicely with McLaren's previously announced involvement in Formula E.

All said, a pretty successful day for the future of motor sport. Cynics will no doubt continue to pick holes in the concept but I'm now hugely keen to see how these beauties look lined up on the grid for the first race of 2014.

3D render of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Credit: Forumla E Racing Series
Representation of the proposed SRT_01E
Credit: Forumla E Racing Series