Formula E 2018-19 car reveal

Formula E’s new car for 2018-19 season revealed

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Formula E has revealed the new car teams will use from the fifth running of the championship which begins later this year.

Like its predecessor, which has been in use since the championship began in 2014, the new car is built by Spark Racing Technologies. The car follows the lead set by Formula One and Formula Two by adding the Halo head protection system.

Among the key changes for the championship’s fifth season is a move to more powerful batteries. This will mean drivers will be able to complete a full race distance using a single car. The batteries, produced by McLaren Applied Technologies, will increase in capacity from 28kWh to 54kWh.

Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said the new car “represents the future of racing.”

“When we started Formula E, our goal was to break the mould and challenge the status quo – bringing a revolution to motorsport. This next generation car represents that revolution.”

“The cars will be faster and will have almost double the amount of energy storage capacity and double the range, demonstrating the continuous evolution of battery technology. Together with the FIA, we’ve achieved a great milestone with the introduction of this car and I can’t wait to see it on track.”

A physical model of the new car will be displayed on the FIA stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

The fourth round of this 2017-18 Formula E season will take place in Santiago, Chile this weekend. The championship concludes in New York on July 15th.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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94 comments on “Formula E’s new car for 2018-19 season revealed”

    1. Yeah, such a beauty! I wish F1 cars were half as sexy as this one.

  1. I like the design but is that still even an open-wheel formula? It’s looking more and more like a prototype. The great news is that they’ll be able to do a full race distance! Will they introduce mandatory stops then?

    1. wouldn’t call it an open wheeler indeed, interesting changes!

      just noticed that the capacity of battery is slightly lower than of 2 old batteries combined – would this mean energy recovery (idk if some is in place right now)/more efficient drive system/more energy saving driving?

      1. It does look slick, but indeed, is it really an open wheel car?

        As for the batteries, i understand that to maintain the batteries there is always a rest that does stay in the battery, so that means that there were two of these small margins where now, they will have only one, so maybe it evens out?

        1. because of all the f1 rejects as drivers they make it as bumper cars, similar to indycar, so they can crash into eachother a bit more without driving the wheels of.

    2. the front wheel covers especially look a bit odd to me, they remind me the cars of the 30s

      apart from that it looks futuristic, which is what FE wants to be, I guess they achieved what they wanted with this.

    3. @spoutnik

      is that still even an open-wheel formula?

      I guess we can just say it’s not less open than the W196 sometimes was?

    4. I like it that they are going into that design space that exists between single seaters and lmp style cars. Covering the wheels helps a lot with aerodynamics (both drag and lift are improved) and while not going full lmp style bodyworks the cars hold an unique look. Cars like this can look great.

      Obviously a lot of the stuff on the car is there just for looks and majority of the surfaces have been designed just so there is as much room as possible for sponsor stickers. And the rear looks like a cheap copy of 80s batmobile but overall it is definitely unique and eye catching design. Which is what they wanted. Something that looks different. The cars are still relatively slow so dirty air created by all those shapes won’t really change anything as the cars won’t be going fast enough to be effected by it. The faster you go in corners the more important the dirty air factor becomes. And because all cars are the same it doesn’t really matter at all whether it works or not aerodynamically. As long as the downforce levels are similar in both ends of the car the rest is same for everybody.

      Electric cars have different design requirements and freedoms compared to internal combustion engines so I wish they had gone for more aggressive, lower and wider look. Maybe even move the driver a bit towards the rear to make it different from everthing else. And because they had full freedom to do whatever what they wanted in the end this is quite mild design. In the end that rear end looks really ugly to me. The rest of the car is good although I’d wish it looked more aggressive.

  2. I really like it. It’s the future racecar I was promised as a kid, now it’s here. It ticks all the boxes for exciting in terms of looks, and I don’t mind the halo much at all. Aggressive, pointy, a bit childish. What’s not to love?

    1. @chrischrill true that! Only minus I see: fanboost, hope they’ll ditch it soon.

      1. Exactly.. its rubbish.

    2. @chrischrill It even looks cool to me

      1. The halo that is..

  3. I’m really torn by this. On one hand, I think the car looks incredible, and I think it’s really positive for the brand of Formula E, making it sexier and more visually striking. On the other, the traditional tech head in me feels like there’s so much about this design which is nothing more than fancy greebling with no real aerodynamic purpose. Form doesn’t follow function. Which doesn’t really matter since all the cars are identical, but I think it generates a slightly false expectation – some will look at this and ask, why do F1 cars all look so unpleasant when a fast racing car can look like this?

    So I think for Formula E this is great, but I’d hate to see other categories change themselves to follow this kind of aesthetic.

    1. well, a lot of FE currently puts emphasis on form over substance ATM, nothing new there :)

    2. I can’t see much on that car that does not appear to have a function…

      What specifically are you thinking is purely there for looks?

      1. I note that a lot of people have commented about the size of the rear diffuser, but the diffuser looks like it has a very large expansion ratio – so my first question would be whether the diffuser would actually work that efficiently, given that there seems to be a risk of air flow detachment.

        Equally, the rear wing design does seem to be aping the old “centreline downwash generating wing” that F1 looked at in the mid 2000’s – as I noted elsewhere, Migeot’s research suggested that it didn’t work particularly well. That element does therefore smack of being introduced for stylistic reasons rather than functional reasons given that prior research found no advantage, and in some cases a disadvantage, from implementing that design.

    3. exactly my thoughts man. it seems it’s been designed to look cool on the first place, and this kinda bothers me :(

    4. @mazdachris Interesting comments. Personally I like the concept for a change of ‘no real aerodynamic purpose’…although I’m sure there is some. I think it would be great for FE to not follow in F1’s footsteps by making the cars way too clean air dependent. And I think typical of most designs for electric cars, and because weight and battery power and conservation are always crucial, the FE cars are meant more to be aerodynamically slick than to provide gobs of energy robbing downforce, I’m assuming.

      Lol why do F1 cars all look so unpleasant when a fast racing car can look like this? Answers: a) because F1 cars are about having appendages meant to create aero downforce, while trying to be slick (efficient) at the same time, while FE can be different, and b) remember Brawn has already distributed to the teams for consideration, concept pictures of what they are considering F1 cars could look like for 2021, and we might be equally blown away…especially if there are components that ‘have no real aerodynamic purpose’ and we can get to a point of closer racing, without drs, in sexier cars.

      1. @robbie in fact there is a lot of aerodynamic work on that car, it might be done to have a different impact compared to what F1 teams do, but that comes from the nature of the series (spec vs rule orientated design).

        Besides looking at the pictures, I’m almost certain that the new rear wing has as much surface area as the gen 1 car, if not more, and most likely will be able to produce at least the same amount of downforce. Now that I think about it, didn’t F1 tried a similar version rear wing?

        The wheel covers are also an important piece of aerodynamics, they will reduce the impact of the tyres on the air flow, which usually compromises the car behind. They look different, yes, but they have a purpose

        It looks like a lot to process, but after a couple of closer looks, it is fairly simple, especially the main body of the car. And while it might look like it (as mentioned by @mazdachris (do you make good deals on mx5s btw?)), I think pretty much everything is there for a reason. F1 also had a change to improve the looks of the car, does not mean the pieces added are there just to look good.

        One think that it might have come closer to F1 (unless they change the racing weekend) is the amount of energy saving, the new battery supposedly will eliminate the need to change car during the race, but it will also be asked to propel the new gen 2 car, which seems to be bulkier than the previous one. I assume there isn’t dimensions available (and weight, as I assume the new battery will also be heavier??) for comparison, otherwise @keithcollantine would have shared those too

        1. I think you are probably wrong about the rear wing generating a lot of DF there @johnmilk. For the rest of your comment, you bring up some excellent points though.

          That rear wing indeed reminds me a bit of the “rear downwash wing” I think it was called that eliminated the middle of the rear wing to avoid creating dirty air there to help following cars. And the drag is indeed going to be helped a lot by airflow not being messed up by the turning wheels, that will help a lot with their efficiency.

          I do think it might be a lot heavier, but I understand (Scarbs) the long sidepods are to give more room for cooling those larger batteries and the engine/generator.

          Shame they did nog give us something as futuristic looking right from the first season. That way they wouldn’t have come as close to being compared to F1, they would be something new and completely different. Instead they could just talk about themselves as top electric racing series and racing of the future .

          1. @bascb what lead me to the assumption on the rear wings, is that the pillars that connect the two wings to the body of the car look like they will generate downforce, hence on the “look like”

        2. @johnmilk, as @bascb notes, it is in fact an extremely old concept – it first appeared as the “centreline downwash generating wing” in F1 back in 2005, when it was suggested as a possible option for the 2008 season.

          As I understand the situation, the initial proposal came about from a limited amount of CFD modelling by Wirth Research to develop the initial concept. That then resulted in the teams and the FIA agreeing to provide additional funding for the Technical Working Group to explore that concept further with additional CFD and wind tunnel modelling.

          Jean-Claude Migeot, a former aerodynamicist for Tyrrell and later a founder of Fondtech, which is an independent wind tunnel testing organisation, was commissioned to carry out wind tunnel testing to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposal and to assess the impact on trailing cars.

          Unfortunately, what his more detailed research showed was that the concept didn’t actually work – I don’t think it offered any real advantage over a conventional rear wing, and in some areas turned out to perform even worse than a conventional rear wing design – which was why, by late 2006, the idea had completely fallen out of favour and was quietly abandoned.

          1. The strongest argument against that wing were “it looks horrible” and on top came “we’d lose the second most important place for sponsor names” Anon.

      2. In FE they don’t want too much downforce coming from Aero because the car lacks power, if you put too much downforce they would be very slow on straights. That’s the main difference between FE and F1 aero.

        1. @johnmilk and @bascb Good comments. I was being a bit tongue in cheek suggesting (taking from @mazdachris) there appear to be bits that are there just for appearance sake…I would think everything is there for a reason. The absence of any downforce generating front wing and the open V-wing on the back, combined with the large rear diffuser, suggests that they will get what minimal downforce they obviously need/want moreso from ground effects than from complex wings pushing them down into the track robbing them of speed and battery power and longevity. I think it is great to see this cool looking car as an example of the next gen of FE but also as an example of cars that aren’t completely dependent on aero. Can’t wait to see the concepts that Brawn has distributed to the teams of potential looks for the 2021 F1 cars.

          1. To add to this, if we look thru the street circuits FE are racing , there aren’t lots of long corners from which higher downforce levels would be beneficial too. Most corners tend to be low speed corners.

  4. I like it,it comes from the future!!! Its rear wing might cause many ”kisses” in the races but in overall its pretty futuristic & innovatite!

  5. The implementation of the HALO certainly looks better here than what I’ve seen so far in F1.

    1. I didn’t even notice the halo when I first looked at the pictures! Yes, it looks a lot better than the hideous versions on the F1 cars.

      1. it is identical to the versions on the F1 cars. It only looks better because it’s matched in with the cars colour scheme…

  6. I hope someday the cars will drive as fast as they look

  7. It looks like a car from the 1960s Japanese cartoon Speed Racer. No thanks.

  8. It looks excellent, even the halo looks alright on it. Intrigued with how the rear wing will work. Any aerodynamicists?

    1. Not an aerodynamicists but the rear wing seems to be a secondary aero element to the huge diffuser.
      This may be the first jump FE does over F1. This concept will probably be adopted in the next years.

      1. My guess is that the rear wing is not meant to work anywhere near like an F1 rear wing does, but that it is closer to what you @mustavo gaia have stated, as a tie in with the diffuser. Ie. I think there is far far less downforce in FE than F1, by design, and emphasis moreso on ground effects. Not sure that the concept will be adopted by F1, unless of course they are truly going to depart from so much aero, which would be great but I think not likely.

        I think it is more likely that F1 will move toward differently shaped front and rear wings that are less negatively affected in dirty air….perhaps also create less dirty air for the car behind. But I can’t see them having this y-wing setup like FE is doing.

    2. @hugh11 My brother tells me the rear wing over tires concept was actually tested by F1 in 2009 – it’s intended to reduce wake to make racing closer (though not sure FE needs to worry about that).

  9. On the whole I like the look of it. It appears they’ve done a good job disguising the Halo but of course we won’t know for sure until we see the real-life car rather than low-resolution renders.

    I see what people mean about it moving away from open-wheel and open-cockpit but that doesn’t really bother me.

    What does surprise me is the apparent size of the thing. Given how important weight is in this category, and particularly given the addition of the Halo, I was expecting it to look at lot leaner than this.

    I also can’t help but wonder about potential interactions between than low and pointy nose and that long diffuser sticking out of the back. Particularly given how much contact we tend to see in Formula E races!

    1. Eventually we are gonna move away from open wheel, to having them still resembling the cars we love, but with wheel covers. It’s the future race car, and it makes perfect sense that Formula E are the first one to use it.

    2. Certainly seems to be a rapidly evolving car and look.
      Like you I’m surprised at its size.
      I’ve been a FE basher since it started because the cars are slow and pretty uninteresting running round on toy tracks.
      These cars (and the new spec) seem like they’re starting to approach the capability of running on a real track over proper F1 distances.

    3. digitalrurouni
      30th January 2018, 17:14

      Agreed. I love this direction and looking at this design makes me actually dislike the F1 cars now. I have always been more of a fan of the prototype cars they showcase in Gran Turismo like the Red Bull that Newey did. We need more cars like that. I don’t care for open wheeled cars. I bet with the cockpit and with the covers on the wheels they have all the aero they need.

  10. Well, it seems good.
    Not an openwheller, but in a few years, if the aero emphasys remain, openwheller will not be a category.

  11. Yeah, it does look like Formula E looked at the 2015+2016 IndyCars and said wheel covers and potential for debris cautions? Oh we got this, hold my beer. That’s a lot of look fast bits, but fragile in the concrete canyons they love to race in and the touring car levels of contact that emerges every couple of races.

  12. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    30th January 2018, 13:05

    Wow looks brilliant. After being an FE basher for many years I’m slowly converting. IMO though this will be the real start of FE. Futuristic looking and single cars for the full race is a brilliant step in the right direction.

  13. Not personally keen on it, but that might be down to the colour combination, or my usual aversion to anything that looks like it’s trying too hard. And it’ll be interesting to see how much of the bodywork survives the a session of FE bumper cars.

    But it looks like it should be quicker, at least, so that’s a big positive. And it might look better with other paint schemes.

  14. It looks OK but I really wish they had opened up chassis competition (As was the original plan) & given teams the option of either designing there own car or buying one from an outside supplier. Having 20 or so identical cars with no development allowed immediately takes a chunk of the interest away for me (Same reason i’m a bit down on Indycar this year).

    I know there allowed to run different motors & that is where a lot of the development will be & thats great & interesting but we can’t see any of that so were still left with identical looking cars (Liveries aside obviously).

    I’m OK with junior categories running spec cars with limited development but I really do feel that anything that wants to be seen as more of a top tier, top of class or world championship should have open chassis competition/development because when they don’t they just end up coming across as been more of a lower category.

    1. Hard to argue with your point but I think that as soon as they allow chassis development they open a can of worms similar to F1…a money game where he with the most money and the best aero guy wins. FE only garners a fraction of the audience for now, so there wouldn’t be the incentive for the teams to start spending hundreds of millions on FE. It is indeed of a lower category and I think has to remain so for now. Also, if FE, without F1 style front and rear wings generating downforce, is going to remain not about aero downforce but about aero slipperiness, I wonder how much the Newey’s of the world could spread their wings for how much gain anyway? Maybe that’s a naive thing to say.

      Bit of a catch 22 I guess…keep it as is and it’s lower category spec type racing…change it to something more akin to F1 and suffer the same problems F1 suffers. Although…keep wings out of the equation, and perhaps individual team input into the chassis might be doable without making it a game of ‘have’ vs ‘have not.’

  15. Looks good, like a cross between an F2 car and an IndyCar.

    I just wish they’d use proper slick tyres. It would improve the racing in FE considerably.

    1. I do think it looks like a futuristic IndyCar evolution too. Certainly a major step forward in aesthetics from the current model – the front of the current car looks a bit weird.

  16. It’s cool, but a disappointment when compared with the previous concept Spark showed us before…

    1. Can you provide a link? I’d love to see what their concept was.

        1. Thank you!

  17. Those huge rims and those tiny brakes look absolutely ridiculous, and the car looks like it’ll have en less downforce than last year’s, which is probably how they’ll manage the smaller batteries. It looks good in the pretty first photo, but every time I look at it with attention it just disappoints.

    1. I think the huge diffuser will cater for some additional down force while also reducing drag.

  18. Formula E is coming to Zürich for the first time this year, so I will finally see one of these races first hand. It will be interesting. The new car design is pretty cool! I don’t see FE as a competitor to F1 at all – it has a completely different feel to it, in my opinion.

    The speed of advancement in battery technology is astounding! For sure, this will change the world for the better in some ways.

    1. I thought that motorsport was still banned in Switzerland. But is Formula E seen as electric and not motorsport?

  19. Visually it doesn’t look as spindly and fragile as its predecessor. That’s a plus.

    1. Yes, I agree. And I wondered if the sidepod structure was to stop interlocking wheels on the very tight street circuits. The rear tyres look a bit wider than the current cars, but maybe I’m imagining that.

  20. This like a cross between an LMP2 car and a Transformer.

    It looks so bulky.

    But hey, its the future.

  21. That’s a really good looking speedboat! …but seriously, much better looking than its predecessor, but really if they’re going in this design direction they just ought to just go with an LMP style cockpit. It would suit the look.

    1. That would mean making it far wider and a lot heavier though @maciek.

      1. True that @bascb I was just thinking aesthetics ; )

  22. No need to change cars in the race? That itself would increase the feeling of immersion in the race for me.

    1. Or if they had proper slicks …

  23. Wow! Love the new batmobile!

  24. I like the direction Formuma E is moving, Range is getting better and power is getting better, as they keep progressing maybe soon they will start moving to bigger tracks, maybe Formula E is the CART of the future, without the sound.

  25. well, as one lad was saying elsewhere, it looks like an indycar has run into batmobile

  26. Hideous. But it’s F-E so people will “like it”. It’s like a prototype, not much of a formula car.
    Can you imagine the reaction if F1 put out something like that?

    1. If it looked and went like the RedBull X2014 I’m sure nobody would be complaining.

    2. I agree with the person above.

      If we were given any of the “future” f1 cars Ferrari, Red Bull, Mclaren and Renault have put out, we’d all be over the moon.

      This, to me, is the closest thing we’re currently getting to that.

      Except some people hate it because it’s not F1. And that seems to be the only reason.

  27. I really quite like it; I even think the halo integrates quite well into this style – in the rendering at least. Also good to see the battery gains.

  28. I’m not impressed… it’ll still be slow. They should have kept the car change but doubled the power of the motors with these new batteries. Missed opportunity. I don’t mind the pit stop at all. It’s the lack off speed for me

    … oh and fanboost. I refuse to follow the series because of fanboost alone

  29. FE? Rubbish it was, rubbish it is, rubbish it will be…, as long as these cars are not a matter of free development it stays rubbish. It will never give any technological boost to development of electric cars and it’s pointless in my opinion because of it.

  30. The past week brought us the magnificent IMSA Prototypes and now the incredible looking next gen Formula E Car. Sounds like F-E will now certainly raise interest levels. All forms of racing should role the dice on reg changes that make forward thinking designs more significant and rewarding.
    I applaud Formula E for moving forward with such striking design.

  31. Maybe I was to harsh with rubbish comment. I’ll say it’s a “aero comedy-theatre on four wheels”.

    1. Have you actually watched any of the races? They really are not that bad. Yes there are some rubbish things like music at the start and fan boost but they don’t effect the racing. I’ve yet to see fan boost make any real impact in a race, and most of the time now drivers just chose not to use it because they don’t want to use up the power at an increased rate. I’ve found most of the races quite exciting even though the speeds are relatively slow compared to F1.

      1. Because it’s been free to air I really have tried to watch FE. Sadly I have always been asleep by the time of the car swapping and have never seen it.

  32. Bat Mobile …. pretty much covers it. Form should be following function, unfortunately it isn’t.
    WOW … a battery that has 54 kWHr of capacity …. nice, but is it enough.??
    This is equivalent to less than 10 L of diesel (at 0.335 Lb/HPHr)
    Too bad that Moore’s Law hasn’t included batteries.
    I can distinctly recall in a discussion on future electric cars, in 1977, that the limitation was battery technology and not to worry, the answer was just around the corner.
    While the advancements have been spectacular, Moore is needed.
    It will come, of that I am sure, just how long to wait.?

  33. It looks good, it is a good direction but I prefer this Red Bull X1 prototype:

  34. It’s just a spec-series car. No individuality or different form factors.

    1. @melthom
      Yut think football players also have no individuality when they run in the same shoes?
      The individuality lies in the competitors – the drivers!!

      1. You obviously have no sense of motor racing history and the importance of the great teams och car manufacturers that have been fighting for both constructors and drivers championships nor the national pride that came with it. You just tapped into this in the modern era and got no clue of where it stems from. You simply don’t understand what motor racing is about. Comparing with childish tattooed football players that run around sucking their thumb says it all.

  35. Until they can pit > slide battery out > slide new battery in IMIO the whole thing’s an expensive joke, changing cars in a garage, 45 seconds, yeah that’s real excitement for the fans..(car looks rather cool though)

    1. @budchekov
      “changing cars in a garage, 45 seconds, yeah that’s real excitement for the fans.”
      You haven’t even bothered to read the short article, have you?? Come on, kid.

      1. True, my bad…goes and stands in a corner.

  36. Am I the only one who sees this having a beek and eyes (made by the halo)??


  37. Looks exactly what a next generation pinnacle of motorsport car should look like. I would go with the Spark concept and full fighter jet canopy look. I don’t have an issue with that. Adrian Newey showed the way with the Gran Turismo concept.

    Its not about the innovation per se, but the perception of innovation and the future. Formula E is creating in the mass audience- not the small group of hardcore enthusiasts- the notion that it is cutting edge. That it is the future. The venues where they race , Big cities, are were most big audiences are. As a global sport, formula 1 really needs to take notice.

    As a racing fan, a formula 1 fan who loves the traditional circuits, the skill needed in the big tracks like Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Montreal, Melbourne, Suzuka, I fear that if popularity sways to Formula E as fast as it is growing, we will even see these traditional tracks disappear- at least at the pinnacle of motorsport.

    Formula 1 Needs to be the pinnacle of motorsport. The best technology (cutting edge and relevant), the best teams, the best drivers, the best tracks and show.

    Formula 1’s cars biggest advantage right now are their autonomy and top speed. Against them is a notion of “yesterday’s technology” (as sophisticated as hybrids are) and looking like formula cars for the past 30 years, if not uglier.

    Formula 1 needs to take advantage of being able to race on bigger tracks. Should bring in absolute classics that it has not explored, like Laguna Seca, (yes, here I go again). Macau, etc. And it should rethink its power plant strategy. Hydrogen? Other alternative, perceptively “green” source that doesn’t create the current issues of formula E?

    The way thing goes- I’ve said this before- Formula 1 will merge with Formula E in the next 7 years. Not unlike what happened with the WTCC and TCR, but obviously for completely different reasons.

  38. Interesting that 4 out of the 6 cityscapes are in locations where Formula E is hosting a race (Paris, Rome, New York, Hong Kong), but the other two Sydney, Australia and Houston, Texas are not. Are they trying to tell us something?

  39. Michael Brown (@)
    31st January 2018, 12:06

    Looks bloody amazing! I love the wheel arches and pseudo-splitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that found its way into F1 design in the future.

    Given how prototype-like this FE car looks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation of FE cars become closed-cockpit.

  40. I like how it’s low and wide towards the back, like the 2018 Indycar. Meanwhile the F1 bosses bicker about how big and ugly their fins on the top of the car should be.

    The Future of Racing™: “drivers will be able to complete a full race distance using a single car”… woah, that could really catch on. Is it non-stop races now (unlike F1)? Or compulsory pit stops to guarantee a strategexciting confusetainment show?

  41. Looks great. Like many, I’m not too sure if this can still be called an open-wheel car. But I haven’t decided yet. After all, the wheel covers do remind me of that F1-of-the-future car McLaren came up with (see this link on F1F) and let’s not forget Red Bull’s fabulous X-cars, which also had covered wheels and still looked great and smelled of F1.

  42. That’s a big diffuser.

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