Is Opel's Corsa-e going to be the world's first factory electric rally car?
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Electric rally cars are the talk of the moment with Hayden Paddon’s Kiwi-engineered Hyundai Kona electric project announcement followed up by launch news for an electric Opel Corsa rally car that will compete in Europe from next year.
The Opel Corsa-e Rally is aimed at junior competitors and will be the first electric rally car offered to customers.
Based on the new Corsa-e production model, the electric rally car will premiere at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show next month.
The Corsa-e Rally will compete in the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup next year – the first one-make cup for electric rally cars in the world. The series builds on the success of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup which has used the Opel Adam R2 model.
Opel says the competition car offers the perfect entry ticket to rallying for young drivers from all over the world. Fifteen cars are planned for the series which will be available from Opel Motorsport.
The Corsa-e Rally will cost less than €50,000 (NZ$87,000) and the car has been engineered to produce 100kW output and 260Nm of torque from a standstill (the same as the production version) but no driving range for the car in competition environments has been revealed for the car.
The electric rally car has a 50kWh lithium-ion battery and for a small hatchback weighs a considerable 1400kg compared to the 1.6-litre Adam R2 which weighed 1030kg.
It’s front-wheel-drive with Torsen differential and comes equipped with competition suspension and brakes, under body protection, data logger system and safety equipment including an integrated roll cage and electric fire extinguisher.
The latest (sixth generation) Opel and Vauxhall Corsa are the new first cars from the former GM Europe brands to share their design with Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroen vehicles from their new parent company. The Corsa is based on the same architecture as the new Peugeot 208 and electric e-208 models. The road going e-Corsa has a claimed (WLTP) driving range of 330km.