Formula E will be open to any vehicle that meets FIA technical specifications, an effort to motivate manufacturers to push the bounds of electric-vehicle technology. But for the inaugural season, all 10 teams (each with two drivers) will race just one model: the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. With oversight from Renault, the French company Spark Racing Technology will build 42 of them, incorporating parts from F1 heavyweights Dallara (chassis), Williams (batteries), and McLaren (powertrain and electronics). When the first race starts, in Beijing in September, the SRT_01E will show bystanders just what electric vehicles can do.
F1 racecars typically produce 130 decibels at high speeds, but the SRT_01E generates only 80—slightly more than a conventional road car. The “modern, futuristic” sound will come entirely from the tires, transmission, and wind buffeting. The FIA may require cars to produce an artificial sound to warn pit crews as the vehicles approach.