The curtain has been raised on the new safety car for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship: Official Vehicle Partner BMW i unveiled the new BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car at the Yacht Club de Monaco on the eve of the Monaco E-Prix.
The car has been modified specifically for use at the racetrack and the design is based on its sister model, the BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car. Guests at the presentation included Pierre Casiraghi, vice president of Yacht Club de Monaco, Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, and Dr. Robert Irlinger, Head of BMW i.
The new BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km) is the latest addition to the fleet of BMW i Safety Cars. It is the first safety car in the world that can be used with an open cockpit. The most striking characteristics of the spectacular design are the rear wing and shortened front windscreen.
“BMW i and Formula E are synonymous with innovation, making them excellently suited to each other. This project is another very good example of the pioneering spirit at BMW i and in Formula E,” said Irlinger.
“In implementing the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car, the BMW i engineers, designers and communications crew have dared to explore new horizons and create an absolutely unique car. The development team behind the Safety Car is akin to a start-up. Our engineers got creative within their own ranks and assembled it on top of their regular jobs. In doing so, they have achieved something completely new. I am very grateful to the FIA and Formula E for showing such enthusiasm towards our innovation and for making it possible to use the BMW i8 Roadster as an official Safety Car,” he added.
Agag said: “The BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car has a striking design – something which differentiates it from anything we’ve seen before, and what better setting for its presentation than at the Monaco E-Prix. BMW has been a partner since the inaugural season, and their continued support as a vehicle partner and now as a team shows their commitment to electric mobility.”
Technical modifications for use at the racetrack
No major modifications were necessary but there still have been some changes for the racetrack version. The most striking modification to the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car is the front windscreen, which is shorter than the production model. This gives the car a more dynamic appearance. The Safety Car’s centre of gravity is also 15 millimetres lower than the production car. The car has M Carbon Ceramic Brakes, an FIA-approved roll bar, a front splitter and a rear wing for additional downforce.
Modifications necessary for its role of Safety Car have also been made. The light bar is mounted above the rear wing, making it easily visible from all angles in any race situation. The BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car also has a communication antenna and a GPS antenna, an extensive communication system in the cockpit, and a rearview camera.