PARIS — The Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA) has confirmed a RallyCross racing series with electric-powered vehicles will debut in 2022, after being postponed in 2021.
The new series, dubbed RX1e, will feature identical twin-motor racing cars built by Kreisel Electric of Austria in close collaboration with Rallycross Promoter G.m.b.H. and the FIA.
The cars' power units are rated at 500kW (680hp), capable of delivering 880Nm of torque, while the battery has been designed for optimum weight distribution. The prototype car was built on a Skoda Fabia chassis.
- This story appears in the Oct. 11 print edition of Tire Business.
The cars will run on racing tires supplied by Goodyear's Cooper Tire & Rubber subsidiary in line with a contract signed by Cooper in early 2021 prior to its being acquired by Goodyear.
"Cooper has a wide-reaching motorsport involvement and is committed to many international championships and events," Goodyear said in response to a query from Tire Business.
"Motorsport plays a significant role in driving the Cooper brand presence today and will continue to do so in the future."
Cooper has not as yet disclosed details of the race tires it will supply for the RX1e cars.
The electrification of rallycross is set to revolutionize the sport, the sport's organizers said, and interest has been growing steadily. The electric drive train yields "electric" performance levels, the FIA said, with the first models of RX1e machine turning in 0-to-60 mph acceleration times of under 2 seconds — faster than a Formula 1 car.
The series' organizers have confirmed there will be 14 entrants for the 2022 season, which will start in January. The series' schedule has not been released, but it's presumed the races will all take place in Europe.
The organizers have struck a deal with GCK Energy of Saint Pierre d'Albigny, France, to provide "green" energy recharging for the teams via a bespoke solution of containers and mobile charging points. The containers will arrive at each event fully charged, having collected 900kWh at GCK's base in France through a combination of solar panels and the local green-energy network.
All cars competing in the series will use the same electric powertrain, although the teams will be allowed to modify the bodywork designs.
Rallycross is a form of circuit racing on a track with mixed surfaces, usually asphalt and gravel or sealed/unsealed surface; the race format is under review by the organizers, teams and promoter with the aim of generating increased overtaking opportunities and closer racing.
In confirming the series for 2022, FIA President Jean Todt said: "It is pleasing to see our vision for the electrification of the FIA World Rallycross Championship coming to fruition. … Electric mobility is assuming increasing importance, and World RX is the perfect stage to showcase the performance capabilities of electric road cars in an FIA World Championship environment."