Manufacturer claims to be the first in the world to offer an electric car for customer-based rallying
While the arrival of electric cars in motorsport is already well advanced, there are still plenty of niches and 'first-ever' achievements still to be claimed. Opel is confident it has seized one such opportunity with the launch of a rally car based on the Corsa-e - the all-electric version of its latest supermini.
The front-drive, 1400kg competition model gets the same 130hp and 192lb ft of torque as the road car, but now wears rally-grade suspension and a Torsen differential alongside a roll cage and some significant safety additions - including, predictably, an electric fire extinguisher and a newly developed high-voltage warning system.
Opel quotes a range of 205 miles from the regular model's 50kWh battery so presumably it's up to the challenge of a 30-mile special stage. It'll be a level playing field at any rate: the Corsa-e Rally is built to compete in the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, a feeder series for aspiring drivers that is due to replace the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, which previously featured modified Adams.
The manufacturer is expecting 15 cars to compete in the new series from next summer, and will show the Corsa-e Rally at Frankfurt next month to encourage anyone interested to part with the "less than €50,000 (£46,000)" it is said to cost. Frankly it's hard to imagine a rally stage without the pop and crack of an approaching combustion engine - but the combination of instantaneous torque and hydraulic handbrake isn't exactly unappealing either...
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Considering that this has license plates seems a fun contraption to rag around some local fields without attracting any unwanted attention. Competition rallying needs noise.
MDT22 Aug 2019
I watched some 80's rally footage the other night on youtube. I it mute at one point as a test. It really did lose it's appeal.
Evilex22 Aug 2019
I reckon a Rally car with 4wd and decent torque vectoring could be quite handy... If a bit quiet. Imagine the number of spectator injuries if they're not kept under control- it's not like you'd hear it coming and run out of the way like in the "good old days" of rallying.
Jack468822 Aug 2019
So long as electric rally cars don’t just have dreadful siren as their spectator warning system then I’m all for it. Hayden Paddon claims to have something interesting up his sleeve for his upcoming Hyundai Kona rally car...
Jon_S_Rally22 Aug 2019
It's all well and good saying it should be able to complete a 30-mile stage, but what about 10 of those in a day, with a few hundred miles of road section thrown in? Of course ICE rally cars have to have fuel stops, but they're only a few minutes. Charging times are going to be critical for something like this, especially if they want it to run to the same schedule as the ICE cars.
The cost isn't bad though, similar to an R2 car. Would be interesting to see the difference in pace of course...