Gul Panag, noted actor, automobile enthusiast and travel freak, has become the first Indian woman to get behind the wheels of a Formula E racing car. She managed to achieve this feat when she drove the all new M4Eectro from the Mahindira’s racing stable at the Circuit de Calafat in Catalonia, Spain on 26th of April, 2017. Gul Panag has always been an embracer of greener technologies and already owns the electric e20Plus City smart car for her city run-abouts.
Driving a race spec car requires an extreme level of fitness and mental strength as the high speed and the resultant high G forces create an enormous amount of stress on the body. Specialized training is required to overcome the undue stress and to exhibit high levels of concentration for that precise steering and lightning quick reflex. To experience the high end technology of the Mahindra M4Electro first hand and take on the challenge of driving a formula spec car, Gul Panag was first offered training in a simulator at Mahindra’s Racing Development Centre in Barcelona by none other than Mahindra Racing Formula E driver Felix Rosenqvist. The training was to ensure that Gul Panag could perfect her driving technique a day before she took on the race track.
“I feel privileged to know that I am amongst very few people in the world, including the motorsport world, to drive this car on what is only its second outing. The M4Electro is supercharged and feels like the e2oPlus on steroids! The powertrain and the speed of delivery did not take me by surprise because I am already familiar with EV technology, having driven the e2oPlus for a while now. With the M4 Electro, Mahindra has also proved that it is well ahead of the curve when it comes to transportation and is thus, well positioned to shape the future of mobility. In fact, I felt like I was driving the future!” said Gul Panag after she had driven the M4Electro.
“Most people can only imagine what it must be like to drive a racing car and fewer still get the privilege of actually driving one. So, we invited Gul to Spain to experience the power of the M4Electro first hand, especially since she’s already familiar with EV tech at the street car level. We want to let the world know that EV technology is accessible and can help define the electric cars of tomorrow. This is aligned with our vision for the future where the cars we develop will be smaller scaled down versions of race cars,” said Team Principal, Dilbagh Gill as he outlined the Group’s vision of the Future of Mobility.
Mahindra uses the knowledge it acquires in the racing to see how to trickle down those high end technologies in its day to day mass market cars. The fourth generation Formula E racing car from its stable, the M4Electro has been developed keeping in mind the records it is destined to break when in action. Successful action in the race tracks will ensure the electric power train will soon be made available in the company’s road cars.