This 200 MPH Electric Race Car Has No Rear Brakes!

200 MPH, No Rear Brakes: Gen 3 Formula E

The eagerly anticipated Gen 3 version of the all-electric Formula E racing car made its debut in Monaco this week, and it’s already being called “a seriously quick and agile racing car” by guys like three-time Le Mans winning racing driver Benoit Treluyer.

The new Gen 3 will be the first Formula E to include all-wheel drive, thanks to a new front powertrain that adds 250kW of power to the 350kW unit at the rear of the car, for 600 total kW of power. That “conventional” rear drive unit’s output may vary, though, because the manufacturers are– for the first time in Formula E– able to develop the motors for themselves. And that, really, is the biggest change for season 9.

That change should carry over to other parts of the car, too, as Formula E teams will now be able to develop a much wider range of components for their cars. The overall formula is still very closely regulated, but the pressure to perform and “clever interpretations of the rules” has always been where the real innovators shine!

And, speaking of innovation– there’s a big one that you’ll see when you check out the Gen 3 car’s rear brakes. It doesn’t have any.

That’s right. The new Formula E race cars will not have rear hydraulic brakes. The front MGU-K, which is being supplied to all teams by the Atieva technology company (which is, itself, part of the Lucid Motors group) and the overall regenerative capability of the rear powertrain means they’re not needed. And that is an absolutely wild thing to consider.

Could the first road-going EV without brake discs and pads be very far behind? Hard to say– but that’s what racing does. It pushes the envelope and improves the breed. It can, anyway, and Treluyer believes it will.

“The tactics we have seen in some races will be a thing of the past I think,” Treluyer told The Race after driving a Tata Jaguar team car. “You just will not be able to afford these big situations with contact because of the front MGU and also just because the cars are (fully) open wheeled now.”

We’ll have to wait a while, yet, to see if the racing has truly improved, but more power and less brakes never made anything less exciting, did it? Check out the new car’s jet-fighter inspired look, below, then let us know what you think in the comments.


Gen 3 Formula E Electric Race Car


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