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BMW i8 Roadster revealed as Formula E Safety Car

Nizam Shaikh
Written by Nizam Shaikh

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s official partner BMW has unveiled the new i8 Roadster safety car at the Monaco E-Prix. The new roadster model’s design is based on the coupe i8 Safety Car and has some changes specific for use on the race track

The car did not require major modifications but the car had to be lowered by 15mm for a better centre of gravity than the standard road-going car. The windscreen is super short as compared to the production model and is the most significant feature in the new safety car. The car also has a FIA approved roll bar for protection of its occupants, M carbon ceramic brakes, a front splitter and a rear spoiler for additional downforce.

Other modifications necessary to perform the safety car role, are a light bar above the rear spoiler, a GPS antenna, a rear-view camera, a communications antenna and an advanced communication system in the cockpit. The BMW i8 Roadster safety car is the latest addition to the BMW i series safety car fleet and has become the world’s first safety car to be used with an open cockpit design.

The road going version is powered by an AC synchronus Electric Motor with integrated power electronics. The source of power is a 11.6 kWh / 33 Ah lithium-ion battery and the electric motor generates 141 HP of power and 249 Nm of torque and coupled with a 1.5-litre, twin-power, turbocharged, 3-cylinder petrol engine that produces 288 HP of power and 320 Nm of torque. The powertrain in conjunction makes 369 HP of power and 420 Nm of torque. The lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in 3 hours.  The transmission is a 2-speed automatic for the electric motor and a 6-speed automatic for the petrol motor. The top speed of the car is electronically limited to 250 kmph.

BMW and Formula E go hand in hand as the i series safety car has a very fuel efficient and low emission engine with combined fuel consumption of almost 50 kmpl and the combined emission produced is 46g/km with a power consumption of 14.5kWh/100 km.