The 2020 Formula E races are coming up fast and BMW already has a couple of tricks up its sleeve, looking for some next-level tech to be infused in the competition. As you might be aware, BMW, as well as other manufacturers in Formula E, are using the competition as a testing bed for technology that could be used on production cars. That said, the new BMW iFE.20 will be sporting some cutting edge parts made of renewable textile fibers.
In a competition as tightly regulated as Formula E, where most car makers have similar specs, using out of the box solutions could get you the winning edge. BMW announced today that the iFE.20 race car will become a pioneer, using parts made of renewable textile fibers. The car will use a flax cooling shaft, to be more precise. According to BMW, flax has greater absorption and grater impact resistance compared to carbon, which can be advantageous on the street circuits with their bumps and crash barriers, on which Formula E takes place.
“The flax cooling shaft that we use in the BMW iFE.20 is further proof of the hugely important role of BMW i Motorsport as a tech lab for the BMW Group,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We are consistently using Formula E as an innovative platform for series development – in this instance for testing flax in extreme weather conditions. What’s particularly remarkable is the fact that in some areas this renewable material even has advantages over materials established in racing, such as carbon. Our ambition is to always use the best suited material for each part.”
The BMW iFE.20 is the first works BMW racing car in which the material is used. However, the expansion of this concept to include other BMW Motorsport race cars is currently already in the development phase. Heading into 2020, BMW i Motorsport has the top spot in the driver’s standings secured, following their victory in Diriyah in November. Alexander Sims is sitting on the number one spot and the next race, set in Santiago (Chile) will hopefully cement his position even more.