Opel is creating an electric car rally racing series for Europe
August 23, 2019 Stephen Edelstein
opel corsa e rally car 2019 frankfurt motor show concept
As electric cars become more common in showrooms, they’re also finding their
way onto racetracks. Single-seat Formula E cars race in cities around the
world, and now Opel plans to take electric cars rallying. The German
automaker is launching a rally series — the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup — around
its Corsa-e electric car. The race-prepped car will debut at the 2019
Frankfurt Motor Show in September, while the rally series is expected to
start up in the summer of 2020.
The series will feature 15 identical Corsa-e rally cars. This type of
one-make race series is fairly common; Jaguar already has one for its I-Pace
electric SUV. They generally aren’t as glamorous or prestigious as top-tier
race series like Formula One, but making all the cars identical lowers
costs, making it easier for small teams and up-and-coming drivers to enter.
Opel claims the e-Rally Cup will be a great way for young drivers to get
noticed and move up the racing ladder.
The rally car is expected to be pretty similar to its road-going
counterpart, which Opel is currently taking reservations for (the Corsa-e
will also be sold in the United Kingdom as a Vauxhall). Opel didn’t touch
the powertrain, retaining the same electric motor and 50-kilowatt-hour
battery pack. The Corsa-e rally car makes the same 134 horsepower and 192
pound-feet of torque as the stock version. But Opel did upgrade the
suspension and brakes, and added a roll cage and hydraulic handbrake, which
makes it easier for the driver to slide the car.
Opel didn’t come up with the idea for electric rallying. The FIA World
Rallycross Championship plans to launch a companion electric-only series
called Projekt E. Rallycross is basically rallying for a YouTube audience.
Instead of being held on multiple sections of roads or trails over several
days, rallycross events are held on compact tracks that feature lots of
jumps, as well as a mix of pavement and gravel, to create more of a
spectacle. Formula E is also planning a series called Extreme E that will
feature electric SUVs in exotic locations, and a team in New Zealand is
working to turn a Hyundai Kona Electric into a rally car.
Outside the world of rallying, electric power is gaining a foothold. Formula
E has evolved from a curiosity to an established part of the motor-sports
scene, attracting interest from major automakers like Jaguar, Nissan, and
BMW (Mercedes-Benz and Porsche will join next season). Volkswagen broke the
record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with its all-electric I.D.
R. Automakers have long used racing to help sell internal-combustion cars,
so it’s not surprising that they are trying the same thing with electric
+ (vw's cheeky use of turbo is only to boost EV-sale$)
Elon Musk accurately burns Porsche's first electric car
share: Elon Musk @elonmusk Um @Porsche, this word Turbo does not mean what
you think it does ... Porsche unveiled ... Taycan Turbo EV ... "Turbo"
naming is indeed a bit of an oxymoron ... carmaker is being cheeky ...
[dated] EVLN: $130k Porsche's (turbo-less) Taycan Turbo performance EV
... Porsche’s upcoming ... Taycan Turbo — the name Porsche is giving its
top-of-the-line EV variant ...
Dec 28, 2018
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