Audi has announced it will bolster its collaboration with the Abt Schaeffler Formula E team this season ahead of a full factory move into the all-electric series in 2017/18.

The German manufacturer has been a partner of the ABT team since Formula E's inaugural season in 2014, though the partnership has been regarded as more associative than collaborative over the two campaigns.

However, this will all change for this year's championship, which kicks off in Hong Kong on October 9th, with Audi increasing its involvement over the course of the season before upgrading the team into a full-factory effort for 2017/18.

Set to bolster the number of high-profile manufacturer teams in Formula E to four - joining Renault, Citroen DS and newcomers Jaguar -, Audi's Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ulrich says the future proof innovation of Formula E makes its increased involvement a logical move.

"Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With quattro drive we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well.

"In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully-electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the heart of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us."