It was unquestionably a surprise when Audi announced last October that it would exit diesel-hybrid endurance racing to focus on the all-electric Formula E. It wasn't a trick or a dodge. It was Audi's vision for the future.
As Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler put it last year, "We're going to contest the race for the future on electric power. As our production cars are becoming increasingly electric, our motorsport cars, as Audi's technological spearheads, have to even more so."
Stefan Knirsch, another board member, said that given Audi's big EV plans, "adapting our motorsport program and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move."
While the gears work behind the scenes, Audi doesn't want you to forget that it's going to introduce a factory team this year and participate as such in the 2017/2018 season. To that end, it's put out a short, clever video showing the change in action, making it clear that this is a bigger deal than the automaker's current support for the Formula E Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, which it has been with since the inaugural Formula E season in 2014-2015.
Remember, Audi has dominated endurance racing for over a decade, so this wholesale switch to FE is remarkable. We won't spoil the video for you, but we will say that the message is that "Progress Feels Electric" and if you're a fan of Formula E – or think you might want to check it out soon, like at the last two races this season in New York City and Montreal – watch it below.
As we noted earlier today, Porsche is thinking of making a similar move into Formula E. We await the video highlighting that announcement as well.