Brad Leach | Sep 5, 2016

To support the launch of its first all-electric road car in 2018, Audi has confirmed a significant step-up in its Formula E racing program.

The German manufacturer is targeting electric cars for 25 per-cent of its global sales by 2025 and will launch an electric SUV, based on the e-tron quattro concept, next year.

In the meantime, for the 2017-18 all-electric Formula E racing series which starts in Hong Kong on 9 October, Audi has boosted its involvement - technical and financial - with the ‘ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’ team.

Brazilian Audi Sport World Endurance Championship team driver Lucas di Grassi (who nearly won the Formula E Championship last year) will line-up for the third season in the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team alongside German team-mate Daniel Abt.

So, for this season’s Formula E Championship, the team cars will for the first time feature Audi’s ‘four-ring’ logo and, in preparation for a fully-fledged factory team in the 2017-18 title chase, Audi will partner with Schaeffler to jointly develop the next-generation racers.

The move is consistent with Audi’s practice of using motorsport to develop technology for its road cars.

Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive systems were developed from rallying and, with the WEC sports cars, Audi was the first manufacturer to win using a TFSI petrol engine, then with a TDI turbo-diesel and, more recently, with a hybrid drivetrain.

Jaguar will be racing in Formula E starting this season - joining DS, Mahindra, Audi, and Renault in the all-electric race program.

MORE: Audi | Motorsport | Formula E

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