One of the biggest complaints Formula E fans have about the electric race series is that the cars don’t make any noise, which is simply not true. Here’s how louder Formula E has gotten.
Believe it or not, Formula E is entering its fifth season and is introducing a second generation car that’s stronger, louder, and more powerful than ever. To show just how different Formula E cars have changed, particularly the sound of the motors, earlier this week (Oct. 18,2019) Envision Virgin Racing dropped this sound comparison video letting your ears hear what their Formula E drivers hear when they’re blasting down the main straight. Have a listen in the video below.
It should be noted that, over the years, literally only one car with the same battery and motor specs has been used, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. As such, every Formula E car sounds exactly the same, so, there are no differences between Jaguar’s F1 car or Virgin Racing’s F1 car.
It’s a little-known fact but the motor used in the original Formula E car shares a lot of the same design as the motor in the McLaren P1. That should be no surprise given that McLaren Applied Technologies, a subsidiary of the McLaren Automotive group, is the supplier of the Motor Generator Unit or MGU.
For 2018, Spark Gen 2 makes its debut with a far more sexier design and more importantly, more power thanks to stronger McLaren motors and a bigger battery. That means there won’t be those ridiculous mid-race car swaps when the first car runs out of juice.
A nice side effect, as illustrated in the video above, is the louder motor and regen sound. The Spark Gen 1 was limited to just 30 kWh of regen through the Rechargeable Energy Storage System or RESS. This time around, teams get a whopping 230 kWh of regen, hence the aggressive deceleration sound when scrubbing speed. Presumably, this can be dialed in for more or less aggressiveness as per driver.
What results is a better sounding Formula E car. It’s not V10 banging off the rev limiter loud, but you can definitely hear the difference.