Lola Cars enters partnership with Yamaha to field a Formula E team

Eric Broadley founded Lola in 1958, then built one of the most famous names in racing. That name slowly went out of business at the end of 2012, the bankruptcy proceedings first claiming Lola Cars international, then Lola Composites, and finally the parent Lola Group International in 2013. Following a few asset auctions, in 2022, Till Bechtolsheimer bought the rights to the name, all of Lola’s intellectual property going back to the late 1950s, and Lola’s old Technical Centre with its wind tunnel. When Daily Sports Car

asked Bechtolsheimer what he planned, he said, “Lola has always been a partner to some of the greatest automotive brands out there. And that’s where I want to get Lola back to, is being a credible and reliable option for customer teams, as well as being a credible and reliable partner to automotive brands, as they look to solve their motorsport
needs going forward.” That’s come true now, with Yamaha Motor signing a multiyear technical partnership with Lola Cars to enter Formula E in 2025.

Yamaha will supply the electric motor, its interest in developing electrification expertise it can apply to its vehicle lineups, especially the scooter and marine divisions, as well as contribute to the company’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal. Lola will assemble the rest of the powertrain, like the software for energy and control systems. Yamaha and Lola have spent 18 months so far developing their entry; the first shakedown is planned for June at Lola’s Silverstone, England, base.

Every Formula E car uses a 350-kW e-mo tor to power the rear wheels, with another motor on the front axle used only for regenerative braking

. Changes to the regs for the 2025 Gen3 Evo car could allow the front motor to turn the front axle, making more use of the coming car’s upgraded bodywork and tires. Yamaha already has a motor, a unit it designed for the Subaru STI E-RA
, which was the track beast Subaru built with the goal of lapping the Nurburgring in 400 seconds. The STI E-RA used four 200-kW motors, Yamaha will be reworking the unit into the 350-kW e-motor FE mandates. Since the STI E-RA disappeared shortly after debut and hasn’t been seen since, now the motor gets a chance to strut its stuff. 

It seems Lola doesn’t just want to supply Yamaha, it’s considering a vehicle powertrain package for other teams down the line, perhaps when the Gen4 car gets introduced. Lola Cars’ motorsports director Mark Preston said, “This project will allow us to create a unique electrified platform with a software focus at its core to provide a basis for Lola’s wider plans in defining the future of motorsport technology.” Before heading up motorsports at Lola Cars, Preston served as Team Principal of DS Techeetah, guiding the FE team to two championships.

Beyond electrification, Lola plans to develop a hydrogen-powered platform to take part in the Le Mans hydrogen test in 2027, and also something in sustainable fuels and materials. On the Le Mans effort, Lola said it prefers a fuel-cell setup, but it’s open to hydrogen-based internal combustion, the latter another area of Yamaha expertise


There are 11 teams on the FE grid this season. Lola, as the powertrain manufacturer of record, and Yamaha, as the technical partner, are expected to take over one of those teams instead of adding a 12th.