First Projekt E electric rallycross car unveiled at Latvian WRX

The first Projekt E electric rallycross car has been revealed at the Latvian round of the World Rallycross Championship

First Projekt E electric rallycross car unveiled at Latvian WRX

Projekt E will run as a support series at selected WRX events next year, using technology developed by Manfred Stohl-owned firm STARD.

The first Projekt E car is using a Ford Fiesta bodyshell, similar to the one run by STARD in WRX, and it was tested in Austria this week ahead of Stohl demonstrating the machine at Riga on Sunday.

STARD is providing powertrain kits for the series that will then be installed in four-wheel drive rallycross Supercar-type machines.

"We really set the target for ourselves to revolutionise electric motorsport, especially in the more affordable area," STARD CEO Michael Sakowicz told Autosport.

"We know there is Formula E and now Extreme E that has been presented but those series are really at the top of the cost and achievability range when you are a private or customer race team.

"We saw a niche of electric motorsport that is achievable to private teams, and that's where we focused our development work."

While teams will be able to buy a complete kit, retailing at €194,000, STARD has also created an initiative where teams will be able to provide their motors from road-going electric cars.

The different motors will be equalised using STARD's bespoke single-spec motor controller.

"The powertrain has such high flexibility, especially the transmission, which is an exclusive development, that we can run practically any road car electric motor and use it in the Projekt E kit," said Sakowicz.

"I believe we are the first to offer the ability to use different manufacturers' road car technology to compete against each other and prove how performant, reliable and efficient they are in a race situation."

The Projekt E concept is a tie-up between STARD and WRX promoter IMG.

"The car we revealed today is the result of months of collaboration with our technical partners at STARD," said WRX boss Paul Bellamy.

"That work has centred around developing electric technologies, charging and safety systems for the Projekt E racecars.

"The car looks striking on the outside, but under the skin is what really matters.

"It's an exciting time for the sport of rallycross. Our aim with the new-look race weekend format for 2020, with the inclusion of Projekt E, is to allow rallycross fans to enjoy the traditional internal combustion engines - and be given a glimpse of the future at the same time."

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Series World Rallycross
Author Hal Ridge
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