As Mercedes-Benz rushes to electrify its production car lineup, it’s taking steps to have its motorsports efforts do the same. The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team is unveiling the company’s first entry into Formula E, the pure-electric racing series, at the Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed EQ Silver Arrow 01, the open-wheel race car will contest its first grand prix near the end of 2019.
When this new EQ racer hits the track for the 2019/2020 season as part of a two-car effort, the Three-Pointed Star will become the only automaker to campaign in both Formula E and Formula One, the globe’s premiere open-wheel racing series. (German engineering firm HWA Racelab raced with Mercedes’ support in the 2018/2019 season, but the EQ Silver Arrow 01 will be the company’s first official factory team).
The new EQ Silver Arrow 01 will weigh 1,984 pounds (as mandated by series rules), with 849 pounds of that weight being attributed to the massive 52-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Zero to 60 miles per hour is tipped in around 2.7 seconds, with top speed pegged at 174 mph.
For its debut under the klieg lights at the Geneva Motor Show, the EQ Silver Arrow 01 is being presented not in its final sponsor livery, but instead in a special “‘teaser livery’ that provides an idea of the team’s Formula campaign to come.” In other words, Mercedes isn’t ready to talk about its partners just yet.
The team’s drivers have not yet been announced, either.
According to Mercedes’ head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, “Formula E is going to be a completely new playing field for us… but we are looking forward to the challenge of demonstrating the performance of our intelligent battery-electric drives in motorsport and of giving a positive boost to the EQ brand,” he said in an official statement.
Mercedes’ F1 efforts have been massively successful, having claimed the Constructors’ Championship the last five years. The company has also been heavily involved in DTM — the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car championship — but Mercedes has decided to funnel future resources into Formula E, instead.
Formula E has evolved quickly and dramatically as technology has improved and the number of participating automakers has grown. The 2019/2020 Formula E season will be just the sixth in the young series’ history, and interest is clearly ramping up, both among fans and auto companies. Fellow German automaker Porsche is also slated to contest Formula E this season, with Audi, Nissan and Jaguar having already planted their team flags in the burgeoning all-electric series, too.