Watch: How Hayden Paddon's 'leading the world' with ground-breaking electric rally car
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Just as the World Rally Championship looks to allow battery-powered vehicles in the 2021 season, Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon has whipped the covers of his highly-anticipated fully-electric rally car.
Calling the project “one of the top three achievements of my career”, Hayden Paddon gave the world its first glimpse at the Kona-based EV that should shake up the rally world.
Built by Paddon Rallysport Group alongside Australia-based Stohl Advanced Research and Development and the University of Canterbury, the project was initially scheduled for completion in April of this year, but Covid-19 prevention measures pushed it back.
While it isn't the first electric rally car that the world has seen (Opel claimed that title with the Corsa-e in 2019) it is the first that will be able to compete in full-length rallying events.
In terms of aesthetics, it blends modern Hyundai styling with WRC aero through the use of boxed wheel arches, and an enormous rear wing.
Capable of being used in a dual, tri, or quad-motor configuration, power is sent through a twin transmission to all four wheels. Each of these Brusa-sourced motors can produce an impressive 220kW and 360Nm.
The exact peak power figure still remains a mystery, but PRG revealed that it'll happily produce over 400kW for rally use.
Tipping the scales at 1,500kg, it isn't as light as some of the petrol-powered rally monsters that came before it, but is still impressively trim considering all the batteries on-board.
“The car is faster on paper than an ICE car, has better weight distribution and is more reliable as there are fewer moving parts and the potential with the technology, electronics and design of the car is endless” says Paddon. “It’s simply a new era of rallying that has new limits.
“The EV package is capable of over 800 kW, but we have focused on building this car to have comparable power to a current ICE rally car and aim for it to be winning rallies against normal ICE competition from 2022. A lot of work needs to happen between now and then, and we are confident that EV technology is going to work in a normal rally environment.”
According to Paddon, this is just the start for PRG, as a hydrogen-powered rally is the next project in the team's sights. This will likely be based on Hyundai's hydrogen-powered Nexo.