Venturi’s VM200 FE-02, the car with which the Monaco-based team will contest the 2016-17 Formula E championship, has passed mandatory FIA crash tests.
The successful conclusion of the inspections (completed on 31 March 2016) means that the manufacturer can progress the development cycle, including track testing.
In a statement released to Current E, Louis-Marie Blondel, who is heading up Venturi’s Formula E powertrain development, described the significance of the tests: “We had to get FIA approval for the entire rear part of the vehicle structure that we have significantly evolved. It was important to measure the crash box absorption capacity in case of accident. The crash box is supporting the rear wing of the car. It is important for driver safety, but it is also to protect the car. All vital organs of the car are stored in the rear: the gearbox, the motor and the battery. Protecting these avoids high replacement costs. What is also important is that the FIA regulations limit us in the changes of these parts. You have the right to change one engine or one gear box per year. If you break too much and have to make a second change during the season you get hit with penalties.”
Had the FIA not been satisfied, the team would likely have been forced to retain its current powertrain. Blondel went on: “Without this approval from the FIA it was not possible to drive the car with these new upgrades. We can now bring our powertrain changes into the new architecture to perform better. It was a necessary step to finalise the development of the vehicle.”
Technical details about the new powertrain are yet to be released, although the statements above make it seem likely that a significantly different package will be introduced.