Remember when the World Rally Championship (WRC) announced that they plan to go hybrid? Well, it looks like Opel was able to one up the racing series after revealing an all-electric rally car.
Say hello to the Corsa-e Rally, a zero emissions race car powered solely by electricity. Developed by the company's motorsport division, Opel claims they are the first manufacturer to offer an electric rally car for customer rally support.
It's based off the electric version of the Corsa that bears a similar name, but has been upgraded for taking on rally stages. It now has a torsen limited-slip differential for better traction, four-piston brake calipers for improved stopping power, as well as a rally-tuned suspension. Like the road-going version, the electric motor still produces 136 PS with 260 Nm of torque, and is powered by a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This gives the rally machine a maximum range of 330 km on a single charge.
Aside from tinkering the chassis and other mechanicals, Opel also installed key safety features one would find on any rally car. It has an integrated roll cage, underbody protection for the engine and transmission, electronic stability and traction controls, anti-lock brakes that can be deactivated, and a data logger.
Eager to see Opel take on WRC with a purely electric rally car? Better wait a little while longer as the Corsa-e Rally will only compete in the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup – the first brand cup for EVs in the world according to Opel. Set to begin in Q2 of 2020, the competition will see 15 of Opel's pioneering electric cars join the racing series. Perhaps in the future WRC might allow EVs to join as well given enough time.
Interested in trying out Opel's electric rally car? The automaker said that it will cost less than EUR 50,000 (Php about 2.896 million). While that may be expensive for some, do note that more exuberant race cars can cost upwards of Php 10 million or more.
As manufacturers continue to electrify their model lineup, it's no surprise that they are also introducing electrification on some of their racing cars. And while WRC is going for the hybrid route, Opel's electric series could open up new possibilities from those that want to compete in rallying without having to use a turbocharged engine.