BMW’s revolutionary i8 sports car will be used as Formula E’s Safety Car.
The BMW’s track duties will be shared with the Rimac Automobili Concept_One Race Director’s car (discussed on Formula Future here).
The fabled German manufacturer will use Formula E to showcase its latest range of avant-garde electric and hybrid vehicles. For example, its diminutive i3 city car will be used to shuttle around staff and VIPs while the plug-in hybrid i8 completes on-track tasks.
An exclusive speculative render for Formula Future shows what the Safety Car could look like.
“As a global manufacturer at the forefront of innovation and technology, BMW regards Formula E as a great platform in which to showcase our range of fully-electric and hybrid vehicles and to align our common goals”, explained Jörg Reimann, Vice President BMW Brand Experience.
Interestingly, the i8 is a hybrid sports car and therefore, alongside its electrical drivetrain, still utilises a conventional internal combustion engine. This is unlike the Formula E machines and Rimac Concept_One it will be sharing the circuit with, which are completely electric.
BMW’s support of Formula E raises the tantalising possibility of them entering the series as a competitor, perhaps once Formula E becomes an open constructors championship after its first season of using mandatory Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars. This would put it into direct competition with rival German manufacturer Audi, which currently participates in Formula E. Could their legendary rivalry in the DTM touring car series spill over into the realms of electric motorsport as well?
Image credit: Exclusive render for Formula Future