Can a Formula E Outrun the World’s Fastest Animal? (Video)
Well, yes. But how long can a cheetah hold off a Formula E car before the electric race car overtakes it?
In the early days of motorized machinery, men often pitted their creations against nature. The first steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb, famously lost to a horse-drawn carriage in 1830, for example. Nearly 200 years later, Formula E pitted a TeCheetah Racing electric car against, naturally, a real cheetah.
No, it’s not a Jaguar vs. a jaguar, but we like the cat vs. cat racing theme, nonetheless. And the cheetah is the fastest land animal. We’ll allow it, this one time, because we think it’s a fascinating study in speed.
You may notice that the cheetah bolts out to a huge lead. Within just a handful of strides, the big cat has pulled a several, er, cheetah-length advantage.
Now, if you know about animals, you know what’s bound to happen. A cheetah can reach a top speed of somewhere around 70 miles per hour. A Formula E car tops out around twice that speed. In order to best a cheetah in a race, it will have to run down the quick cat. That happens, surely enough, but it takes a reasonably long amount of time since the cheetah reaches its top speed so quickly.
Ultimately, this serves as a good publicity exercise for Formula E with some cross-promotional space for conservation. But it’s also a pretty cool look at the wonders of nature.
The current 2017-2018 finds the Formula E cars —including the Panasonic Jaguar Racing entry — with 190 kW (about 254 horsepower), 10 more kW of power than last year. The bigger changes come for next season when the FE cars will make 250 kW (about 335 HP) and will run an entire race distance without changing cars.
Those are big changes and we’re excited to see how the cars respond to so much more power. And how much quicker they can run down the fastest animal on land.