Sparks are expected to fly (but only metaphorically) in selected European rounds of the World Rallycross Championships next year when Projekt E, an electric development series, will showcase electric-powered cars.
The underlying aim of Projekt E is to evaluate electric race cars in a World RX environment in accordance with the roadmap for electrification of the FIA World Rallycross Championship which was recently ratified by the FIA World Motorsport Council.
Projekt E is a collaboration between IMG and Austrian company STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development).
The partnership with STARD will focus on developing electric technologies, charging and safety systems for the Projekt E racecars as a prelude to the phased electric presence in World RX from 2021.
“We have been working with STARD on the future electrification of world rallycross for several months. We have now reached an important stage in the ongoing development of electric solutions for rallycross and in particular Projekt E,” says Torben Olsen, the Managing Director of World RX for IMG, the FIA World Rallycross Championship promoter.
“You will see from the technical details of the Projekt E racecars that the innovative demonstration series will be an exciting addition to our World RX race weekend at selected events next year.
“Our technical collaboration with STARD on Projekt E is further proof of our commitment to future mobility and relevant technologies in rallycross.”
Projekt E will use STARD’s “REVelution” EV powertrain systems which will produce around 450 kW (600bhp) combined power, 1 100 Nm of instantaneous torque and produce a top speed of 240 km/h.
The plan is to use current chassis technology such as the 2019 STARD World RX Ford Fiesta. The concept allows for the conversion of current cars or new builds to current chassis regulations using the REVelution drivetrain.
Following an extensive research and development programme, testing of the Projekt E racecars is due to start next month with the official unveiling of the car scheduled for early September.
Projekt E is aligned with the FIA’s vision for electric initiatives in world rallycross. Over the coming months IMG will be revealing more details on Projekt E.
Some medical experts have raised concerns about electric cars and the possibility of the whole vehicle going ‘live’ in the event of a crash – endangering marshals and medics.