The first Projekt E electric rallycross car has been revealed at the Latvian round of the World Rallycross Championship.
Projekt E will run as a support series at selected World RX events next year, using technology developed by Manfred Stohl owned firm STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development).
The Austrian outfit will provide powertrain kits for the series, that will be installed into existing steel-body, four-wheel drive rallycross Supercar type machines.
The powertrain will include three motors, one on the front axle and two at the rear, plated limited slip differentials and a two-speed paddle-shift transmission.
“We really set the target for ourselves to revolutionise electric motorsport, especially in the more affordable area,” STARD CEO Michael Sakowicz told Motorsport.com.
“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 (£173,056), STARD has also created an initiative where teams will be able to provide their own motors from road going electric cars.
“The powertrain has such a 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 [sic], reliable and efficient they are in a race situation.”
The Projekt E concept is a tie-up between STARD and World RX promotor IMG.
“The car we revealed today is the result of months of collaboration with our technical partners at STARD,” said IMG’s 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.”
The first car, using a Ford Fiesta bodyshell similar to that run by the STARD team in World RX, was tested in Austria this week. Stohl is set to drive it in demonstration runs at the Riga event on Sunday.