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by Tim Beissmann

The low-key unveiling of the Bluebird GTL concept has given us our first look at the type of cars we could see competing in the FIA’s all-electric Formula E Championship that is due to start in 2014.

The UK-based team is most famous for creating land- and water-speed record vehicles, but has now turned its attention to becoming one of four manufacturers approved to race in the inaugural season of the EV series.

Unveiled in Haymarket, London, Bluebird says the Batmobile-style GTL concept is a design study that will be used for aerodynamic testing carried out over the coming months.

A track-ready version of the enclosed-cockpit racer is scheduled to begin testing around the end of September.

Don Wales, the grandson of Bluebird’s founder, told EV blog The Charging Point the GTL concept brings the Bluebird name “back to its roots”.

“Grandfather started his racing career on the circuit before going into record-breaking. I went into land-speed record-breaking first and now we’re going into circuit racing, so it really has gone full circle,” Wales said.

“Formula E really is the future, definitely. Electric racing, with the FIA behind it, is going to be a big thing, and if we’re in it at the dawn of that then Bluebird should be a very strong brand for the future.”

Details of the FIA’s Formula E Championship are scarce at this stage. The races are expected to be held around the world in a format similar to the FIA’s flagship series, Formula 1, and could potentially be as brief as 15 minutes to accommodate the vehicles’ limited range.

The vehicles themselves must be 100 per cent electric, feature an open-wheel design and have a minimum weight of 780kg, driver included.




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