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Cool facts about the Formula E cars racing in South Africa in 2023

February 2023 will see the first-ever Formula E racing event happening in South Africa in the heart of Cape Town.

With teams including Jaguar, Maserati, McLaren, Nissan, and Porsche all competing, the race will undoubtedly be quite the sporting spectacle for the mother city.

For the ninth season of the Formula E series, the competitors will be taking part in all-new, third-generation (Gen3) race cars with better performance, improved efficiency, and higher sustainability than ever before.

Cool Gen3 facts

The coolest fact about the new Gen3 Formula E cars is that they’re the fastest of their kind yet, being able to topple speeds of 322km/h – compared to 280km/h in the Gen2 and 225km/h in the Gen1.

Thanks to this iteration being the first of its kind to feature a motor at both the front and rear, it now generates 100kW more than before for a total of 350kW while a maximum braking energy regeneration of 600kW is also available with the two powerplants, up from 250kW before, translating to about 40% of the energy expended on the track gotten back through braking alone.

The electric powerplants are much more efficient in delivering power to the wheels than more traditional petrol-powered cars, too, with a 95% efficiency rating compared to around 40% for an equivalent fuel-driven engine.

Moreover, the Gen3s do not have hydraulic brakes at the rear anymore, as the additional front motor provides enough stopping power for these to be deemed redundant and removed which shaves off a few kilogrammes.

On that note, the new Formula E cars weigh 60kg less than before for a total of 840kg with the driver included – and they’re also quite a bit smaller measuring 183.8mm shorter, 100mm narrower, and 40.1mm lower than the Gen2.

The Gen3s are further touted as being the most sustainable and advanced vehicles in the championship’s history.

According to the FIA, the batteries used are constructed of sustainably-sourced minerals with plans in place to reuse or recycle these components once they reach the end of their usable lifespan.

For the first time, linen and recycled carbon fibre will be used in bodywork construction of a formula car, too, with recycled carbon fibre from retired Gen2 cars being one of the sources thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the production of the Gen3 bodywork by more than 10%.

In addition, natural rubber and recycled fibres will make up 26% of new Gen3 tyres and all tyres will be fully recycled after racing, and all suppliers that wish to take part must operate in line with ISO14001 standards for reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing.

Cape Town track

The circuit that will be used for the 2023 Cape Town E-Prix is still pending FIA homologation, the preliminary track stretching for a total of 2.8km and featuring 12 turns.

The start line is in front of the Green Point Stadium on Vlei Road, where the cars will travel South West to Helen Suzman Blvd for the first turn left.

The pending track is shown in the image below as supplied by the FIA.

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