Opel has started testing the Corsa-E Rally, a battery-electric rally car, at the Dudenhofen Center, in Germany.
Previewed by the Corsa-e Rally Concept presented at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and based on the production-spec supermini, the electric racer has now entered the testing phase in prototype form.
“There is no experience of an electric rally car that we could turn to, so initially we had to rely on calculations and simulations”, explained Opel Motorsport Director, Jorg Schrott. “These are being gradually replaced with real data. Other focuses are on loads and temperature management of the battery, as well as adapting the software. I am pleased to report that our program is going smoothly.”
Powering the zero-emission racer is a 136 PS (134 hp / 100 kW) and 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) of torque electric motor, which uses the same battery as the production model. The 50 kWh provides a range of 337 km (209 miles) in the WLTP test cycle, yet it has been optimized for rallying, with three driving modes: Competition, Rain and Eco.
The first one allows the motor to unleash the full power and torque, giving it a range of at least 60 km (37 miles). The second one adapts the torque curve to slippery surfaces and the latter has an energy-saving technology that should come in handy for driving between stages and to service.
The German car maker still needs to fine-tune the chassis for the competition, and will start simulating real rally stages next month. Around 20 units of the Corsa-e Rally will be built for the 2020/2021 season, and up to 15 of them will be delivered to customers next summer, in time for the first test event that kicks off in July.