We've seen electric open-wheel racecars and even electric touring cars. Now it seems rally racing is the next electric racing frontier, and one of the leaders is Opel. The company is showing its Opel Corsa-e electric rally car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it already has a series to compete in.
The car itself is mechanically very similar to the regular Opel Corsa-e you can buy at a dealer. It has the same electric motor making 134 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque with the same 50-kWh battery. On the standard car, that setup provides an estimated 205-mile range on the WLTP cycle and a 0-62 mph time of 8.1 seconds. There are plenty of modifications to make it race-ready, though, including a mechanical limited-slip differential, adjustable disc brakes, retuned regenerative braking, off-road suspension and a hydraulic hand brake. For safety, it features a full roll cage, fire extinguisher and skid plates. Extra lights and a rally timer are available as options.
These Corsa-e rally cars will be eligible to race in the ADAC Opel E-Rally Cup series that has its inaugural season next summer. Opel expects about 15 cars to compete, and customer cars will be available for less than 50,000 Euros, or under $55,000 at current exchange rates.
Opel isn't the only company pursuing electric rally cars, though. According to Motorsport.com and Jalopnik, a rally team in New Zealand is working in a group that includes Hyundai New Zealand to turn a Hyundai Kona Electric into a rally car. The Kona has the potential to be an even more impressive rally car, since the low-power version makes the same 134 horsepower, but much more torque at 290 pound-feet. The high-power version we get in the U.S. would be even better since it has 201 horsepower and the same amount of torque.