Another, more far-reaching change from the new partnership will be the effect it has on Audi’s electric vehicle technologies. It's understood that Jaguar’s recent announcement of its involvement in Formula E will benefit its future electric vehicles, including an all-electric SUV, and it’s the same story for Audi.
Audi’s Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, said: “By 2025, every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle. The first model for this is planned to be an SUV we’re going to present in 2018.
In the light of these plans, adapting our motorsport programme and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move.”
Audi Motorsport chief, Wolfgang Ullrich, more explicitly hinted at Formula E’s benefit to Audi’s EV programme: “Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production.
With Quattro drive we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.”
Other major manufacturers involved in the all-EV racing series are BMW, Jaguar, Renault, DS and Indian car giant Mahindra, as well as up-and-coming road EV manufacturers NextEV and Faraday Future. All of these are either already involved, or have grabbed headlines with future plans for electric models.