Why Pure ETCR champion Cupra chooses electric motorsport

The momentum behind electric motorsport gathered pace in 2021 with the introduction of the Pure ETCR touring car championship and Extreme E off-road category.

Why Pure ETCR champion Cupra chooses electric motorsport

Both all-electric series have been strongly supported by Cupra, SEAT’s high-performance brand which aims to be at the forefront of a transition to more sustainable and innovative forms of motorsport.

Cupra Racing won the inaugural drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns in Pure ETCR and Cupra was also the first automotive manufacturer to sign up for Extreme E, which it is using to promote its Tavascan electric SUV concept car.

An increasing focus on motorsport with electric propulsion – alongside existing programmes in traditional touring car racing – is ideally suited to the Spanish manufacturer.

It was launched as its own brand as recently as 2018, and traces its roots back to the special-edition SEAT Ibiza marketed alongside a successful World Rally Championship campaign which yielded three successive Formula 2 titles in 1996-98.

“Cupra is a brand born in the 21st century, so we have very progressive values,” says Xavi Serra, head of racing.

“Electrification is one. On the other hand, motorsport is one of the pillars of Cupra so electric motorsport is a perfect match for the brand.”

Jutta Kleinschmidt/Mattias Ekstrom, ABT CUPRA XE

Jutta Kleinschmidt/Mattias Ekstrom, ABT CUPRA XE

Photo by: Charly Lopez / Motorsport Images

Cupra’s transition towards alternative powertrains in motorsport began with the e-Racer, the world’s first all-electric touring car.

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018, it was the prototype for all cars that would race in Pure ETCR – which features an innovative race format of short, sharp action – just as the SEAT Leon Supercopa car laid the foundations for the TCR category that would reinvigorate international touring car racing from 2015.

That original e-Racer evolved into the machine that powered Mattias Ekstrom and Mikel Azcona to victory in three of the five Pure ETCR rounds in 2021, with Ekstrom taking the drivers’ title.

The 500kW (670bhp) e-Racer can generate 960Nm (710lb-ft) of torque from its four electric motors, far in excess of that from a conventional internal combustion engine.

That contributes to an impressive rate of acceleration – despite the additional weight of a 65kWh battery – achieving 0-100km/h (62mph) in just 3.2 seconds, while its top speed is 270km/h (168mph).

Track action

Track action

Photo by: Uncredited

For Cupra’s executive vice-president for research and development, Dr Werner Tietz, such figures – combined with Cupra’s on-track success – are the perfect justification of its approach.

He said: “Our Pure ETCR victory allows us to show the world that electric technology can also deliver competitive and exciting touring car racing, while allowing us to continue to learn and develop technologies that we will see in road cars in the future.”

shares
comments

Related video

Leong storms to second Macau Grand Prix victory
Previous article

Leong storms to second Macau Grand Prix victory

Next article

Vettel, Schumacher to compete in 2022 Race of Champions

Vettel, Schumacher to compete in 2022 Race of Champions
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020