We’ve just a couple of months to wait before the first race of Formula E’s fifth season. And we’re quite excited, chiefly because of the new, more powerful, better-looking ‘Gen 2’ cars you can read about right here.
Testing in Spain, ahead of December’s season-opener in Saudi Arabia, has given us our first chance to see and hear them in action. The results are...mixed. On the one hand, they look just as tremendous on the move as we hoped they might. All futuristic and Batmobile-y.
But on the other, they still sound like a vacuum cleaner that’s struggling with an especially tricky patch of flotsam. Or a dog trying to operate a dentist’s drill. Twenty-two of them all circulating at once, their high-pitched whines reverberating off buildings and barriers, might need to come with some kind of warning.
Watch the video above to see what we’re on about. These things have much bigger batteries than the cars they replace, so no mid-race battery swaps. More power, too, so the 0-100kph time drops to just 2.8sec and the top speed improves to 280kph. Along with various rule changes plus new teams and drivers, this season has all the makings of Formula E’s best yet. Noise notwithstanding.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.