This weekend New York City had its first ever international motor race in the form of the Qualcomm Formula E ePrix. Unlike Formula 1, Formula E racers drive fully-electric, single-seater race cars. The historic race was held along the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn and was won by Sam Bird, a DS Virgin Racing driver which is a team owned by Richard Branson. Alongside BMW i, Harman Kardon were sponsors of the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team, led by motorsport legend Michael Andretti.
Before the race, spectators perusing the Formula E Allianz eVillage had the opportunity to check out some of Harman’s in car audio experiences. We ourselves tried out the brilliant 12 speaker system that is found inside of the BMW i3. We also tried on a VR headset that lets you experience the difference you get with Harman Kardon’s premium in car speakers.
So why would an audio giant like Harman get involved in racing? Formula E is not just about competition but about fostering innovation for electric vehicles, and Harman is a company that’s committed to developing car tech and especially technologies for electric vehicles.
If you didn’t already know – Harman is killing it in the car audio space. To that effect, Harman’s car audio can be found in many different vehicles in the form of their brands like Revel, Mark Levinson, Bowers and Wilson, Bang and Olufsen, which can be found in vehicles from manufacturers like BMW, KIA, Volvo, Mercedes, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Subaru.
Ultimately it was Harman’s partnership with BMW that led to a partnership with Formula E, which was a great synergy for Harman considering how invested they are in future car technologies. To that effect, it’s not just car audio where Harman is winning. The company is also invested in developing advanced infotainment systems, e-mobility systems, and autonomous vehicle technology, and if you’re invested in developing those car technologies, Formula E is one race you don’t want to be left behind in.