The Sights and Sounds of Electrified World Rallycross Are Quite Promising
The future is bright for World Rallycross.
Recently, a short video on Instagram of a brand-new FIA RX2e Championship car came across my desk. It’s the latest in all-electric, FIA-sanctioned racing. While the vast majority of the commenters are rather disgusted by the sights and sounds that these things make, I think they’re wholly badass.
Unfortunately we can’t embed the Instagram video, check it out here!
Isn’t that wild? The high-pitched scream that the motors make as they propel the little hatch forward, the quite-audible sound of the tires shrieking as they’re drifted through a tight left-hander — I love it. It also looks like the driver is longitudinally rocketed forth; internal combustion, pro-rallycross cars are fast and lunge off the line like nobody’s business, I’m assuming the sensation of an electric motor’d variation is even crazier.
Rallycross is super-short sprint racing over dirt, mud, and normal tarmac, and includes jumps, a special “joker lap,” and super-close, door-to-door action. Gnarly, vehicular fisticuffs aren’t uncommon during a rallycross race’s final lap.
Development for electric rallycross cars has been in the works for a while, and this video on YouTube posted back in October of last year is a great explainer of what they’re all about:
According to ‘Motorsport Magazine,’ these cute little beasts produce 335 bhp (or, 339 as us colonials measure it), and have a 32kWh battery that will last as long as 25 minutes, after just 20 minutes of charge time. There’s a motor at the back and one at the front, and my God do they seem like so much fun. The article quotes Norwegian rallycross driver Henrik Krogstad, who says: “RX2e really feels like the start of building something big for the future. It will generate a whole host of opportunities for drivers like me. My hope is that electric rallycross can become the new Group B – super-fast and spectacular – and that people will ultimately look back on this exciting new era as a golden age for our sport.”
A comparison to potentially being the next Group B is music to my ears.
According to the FIA’s website, the RX2e wasn’t supposed to start until 2022 due to COVID messing up everything for everyone. However, the series’ website says it was debuting last weekend (as of this writing) July 23rd and 24th; I guess they’re getting through COVID stuff faster than expected? Er, wait; maybe they mean normal World Rallycross will become fully electric in 2022? Regardless, I’m excited to catch some of the footage when it posts. Hearing all the futuristic sounds that these cool little hatches make, in a big ol’ gaggle, will be so sweet.
Internal-combustion rallycross will surely be missed when it’s fully gone, though. Tiny hatchback racecars with anti-lag are a beautiful thing.