- Get Plugged In
- All-new Electric Race Series for Off-road SUVs
- These new Electric Racers are Seriously Fast
- Plenty of Big Names Involved
In a hurry? Here are the major points in this post.
The car you see here is called the Odyssey 21. It was built by Spark Technologies using battery technology developed by the Williams Formula 1 race team, and it’s the first example of what a Extreme E racer will look like once the all-electric, off-road racing series launches officially next season. And, before you ask: yes. Yes, the new Extreme E racers will actually be fast.
While it took some time for the Formula E cars to get up to respectable speeds, the Oyssey 21-based racers are expected to be seriously fast from the word go. “Straight out-of-the-box in season one, the ODYSSEY 21 and its performance is going to be very impressive, exceeding the power and torque of World Rally Championship and rally raid cars,” explains Spark’s technical director, Theophile Gouzin, in the official release. “The numbers are mind-blowing, really. We’ve innovated in several areas, for example; the wheels are some 940mm. Wheels that size have never been utilized in anything other than two-wheel drive racing cars before.”
What’s more, Gouzin isn’t the only one excited about the new series’ racers. “The Extreme E-SUV ODYSSEY 21 is unlike anything else in motorsport,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E— which is the operating partner of Extreme E. “The cutting-edge technology our industry-leading partners have employed in its design and construction has resulted in a stunning car, capable of the highest performance in the toughest and most varied environments on the planet.”
I know, I know– we’ve got two quotes from two admittedly invested people talking about how fast this car is. What about some numbers? How about 550 HP going to all four wheels? How about 0-60 MPH in under 4.5 seconds? How about massive ground clearance and suspension geometry tuned to tackle 130% grades? At speed?
That’s impressive stuff.
“Our challenge was to build a car that could face all the variations in surface and terrain that will be thrown its way, which will include gravel, rock, mud, ice, snow, water and sand, too,” said Gouzin. “The torque and power density from the power train is also a breakthrough. We’re getting huge figures from a small package, which means lighter weight, space savings and ultimately improved economy … all of this innovation and these lessons learned, are transferable from race-car to road – ultimately benefiting the consumer and the sustainable mobility cause.”
The series rules will allow teams to modify the look and feel of their SUVs to, presumably, more closely match their current product offerings (the Audi team’s car will look more like an Audi, the Honda team’s car will look more like a Honda, etc.). They’ll also be running in glacial, rainforest, artic, mountain, and desert ecosystems, which should do a lot to push the technology as universally capable to the public. I’m excited– and you should be, too … but are you? Let us know how you feel about the new Extreme E Odyssey 21 series in the comments section at the bottom of the page.