The transformation of a standard BMW i8 Roadster into the new Formula E Safety Car was a long journey, and now the BMW i brand is sharing that development process with us. The modified for racing use i8 Roadster could not only be built with series parts, but also with many specially made components.
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The focus was particularly on the rigidity of the body and the rollover protection. Because the windscreen has been extremely reduced and mounted between two shortened A-pillars, the driver must wear a helmet in any case. A FIA-certified roll bar protects occupants in the event of a rollover.
In addition, the Safety Car carries a large rear wing, a light signal system and a complex communication system. Along with that, it received new M Carbon Ceramic Brakes and a new front splitter.
The i8 Roadster’s drivetrain is unchanged from the road car, meaning the rear wheels are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine, while the front axle is driven by an electric motor. Power and torque figures are 369 hp and 570Nm respectively and, thanks to its reduced weight, both its 0–62 mph time and top speed should be improved.
The i8 safety car was developed and built as an out-of-hours project by BMW i division, and marks the BMW’s fifth season as an official vehicle partner of the Formula E racing series.