Tech News: FIA announces ‘groundbreaking’ electric GT motorsport category.
The FIA has unveiled a new category of electric GT motorsport aimed at encouraging manufacturers to develop battery, charging and other technologies for high-performance road cars. The vehicles have a maximum speed of 430 kW (577 hp) and use 87 kWh batteries with 700 kW of charging and rain technology. This allows them to “recover 60 percent of their capacity in minutes during a mid-race pit stop,” according to the FIA.
The electric GT category will be roughly equivalent to the GT3 in terms of performance and speed (500 hp and around 200 MPH). However, the FIA (which governs both Formula 1 and Formula E) said GT electric cars “will outperform their combustion engine counterparts in areas like acceleration and qualifying pace.”
Manufacturers will be involved in the development of electric GT cars, but the FIA is also using common components to reduce cost escalation. To this end, OEMs can create their own battery layouts, but the lithium-ion battery cells will be supplied by Saft, a battery company owned by oil giant Total.
Another way the FIA wants to control costs is to allow manufacturers to adapt the internal combustion engine GT3 platforms. “Manufacturers already participating in the GT3 class can use the architecture and certain design elements of their existing cars and convert them to electric drive,” the FIA said.
GT3 cars are often adapted from trams like the Porsche GT3 and include giant rear fenders and other aerodynamic details to keep the power on the road. Electric GT cars will share these features, to judge from images released by the FIA. Other specs include up to four electric motors, rear or all-wheel drive, and an estimated 0-62 MPH speed of around 2.4 seconds.