Formula E's fifth season is rapidly closing in on its first race in mid-December, which will feature a new, faster generation of all-electric race cars and more manufacturer support than ever before.
As such, pre-season testing kicked off in Valencia, Spain, on Tuesday, with all teams taking part in open track time to better understand the second generation FE machine. Envision Virgin Racing stuck a camera in the helmet of its driver Robin Frijns on day one of testing to get live-fire footage of the car, and uploaded the resulting video to its YouTube channel.
Unlike the first generation Formula E cars, drivers won't need to stop mid-race to swap cars when they run out of juice, as the upgraded second-gen cars have big enough batteries to last the entire race.
They manage this without sacrificing any power, in fact gaining 50 kilowatts (67 horsepower) in both race and qualifying trim, for peak output of 335 horsepower. Weight comes up a hair from 880 kilograms to 900kg (1,984 pounds), but Formula E cars are still featherweights, so they still have a power-to-weight ratio comparable to that of a Lamborghini Gallardo.
And that's just today. Formula E cars of the near future (as soon as 2020) as envisioned by Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff may be capable of as much as 670 horsepower. Given that second-gen cars are predicted to be capable of 300 kph (186 mph) in a straight line, we can't help but wonder how soon it'll be before Formula E can nip at Formula 1's heels.