Rüsselsheim/Frankfurt. Opel is the first automobile manufacturer in the world to offer a battery-electric vehicle for customer rally sport. The electric competition car is based on the Opel Corsa-e, which is already available to order, and is making its world premiere at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show. In 2020, Opel and the ADAC will start the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, the first rally brand cup for electric cars in the world.
With the new series, Opel and the ADAC are continuing their successful partnership. In the past years, the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup has been the perfect entry ticket to rallying for around 100 young drivers from 18 countries. The fastest also displayed their talents internationally in the ADAC Opel Junior Rallye team. Opel juniors won the European championship four times in succession (2015 to 2018) with the Opel ADAM R2. The new Opel Corsa-e now replaces the ADAM on the rally stages. The new competition car produces 100kW (136hp) and develops 260Nm of torque from a standstill.
“The Corsa-e is the electric car for everyone – fully suited to everyday use and absolutely affordable, attributes that equally apply to motor sport. The new Corsa is also fun to drive and particularly dynamic. Using the production car as the basis, we are the first carmaker in the world to have developed an electric rally car” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.
Hermann Tomczyk, President ADAC Sport, added: “With the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup we are bringing electric drive for the first time to mainstream sport and especially to young-driver support. The innovative concept and the cooperation with Groupe PSA opens new possibilities for us, especially in the support of young drivers. I am certain that the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup will point the way ahead for motor sport far beyond the borders of Germany.”
Initially the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup will take place during rounds of the German Rally Championship and other selected events. The series is scheduled to begin in summer 2020. At least ten qualifying rounds through 2021 will form a so-called “Super Season”. A pyramid of support for young drivers is part of the concept, which also foresees a new edition of the successful ADAC Opel Rallye Academy, established in 2016, as the first level. At the time, more than 1,000 youngsters showed their interest in the unique “rally casting”, which led straight to the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup for the most talented participants. This successful concept will be continued and expanded into the top international echelon of the sport.
In the next step after graduating from the academy and the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, the best young drivers will progress to the European Junior Rally Championship with the new Opel Corsa R2. The integration of Opel in Groupe PSA offers additional possibilities for top talents: the sister-brand Peugeot competes with powerful FIA R5 machines and Citroën even with world rally cars – excellent opportunities for rising to the very highest level of international rally sport.
“Opel has traditionally strong connections with rallying” said Lohscheller. “We can look back with pride on numerous successes, including seven European championship titles as well as the World Rally Championship in 1982 with Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer in the Opel Ascona 400. Now we are moving forward with electric drive and fans will be amazed by the performance of our e-cup rally car”.
Development of the Opel Corsa-e Rally in Rüsselsheim continues at a rapid pace. Fifteen cars are planned for the 2020/2021 ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup. The price for customer cars from Opel Motorsport will be significantly less than €50,000 (net).
Opel Corsa-e Rally Technical Data
Electric motor: Synchronous
Power: 100 kW (136 hp)
Torque: 260 Nm
Battery: Lithium-ion, 50 kWh
Transmission: Front-wheel drive with Torsen differential
Suspension: Rally suspension
McPherson strut with uniball joints front
Wheels: 7 x 17; ET20
Steering: Electric power steering
Brakes: 4-piston brake calipers
Interior ventilated 232x28-mm front discs, 264x12-mm rear discs
Hydraulic brake pressure adjustable at rear, especially adapted for
Adapted brake management and recuperation
Hydraulic “fly-off” handbrake
Chassis: Lightweight body-in-white with integrated roll-cage
Underbody protection for engine and transmission
Electric fire extinguisher, dry battery (standard in engine compartment)
Quick-release fasteners for bonnet and tailgate
Electrical system: ESP, traction control (TC) and ABS deactivated
Motorsport display with data-logger
Newly developed high-voltage (HV) safety warning system
Optional: Tripmaster & additional lighting
Dimensions: Length: 4,060 mm
Width: 1,770 mm (5.0 mm wider than production)
Height: 1,440 mm (5.0 mm higher than production
Wheelbase: 2,540 mm (2.0 mm longer than production)
Opel is one of the largest European car manufacturers and was founded by Adam Opel in Rüsselsheim, Germany, in 1862. The company started building automobiles in 1899. Opel has been part of the Groupe PSA since August 2017. Together with its British sister brand Vauxhall, the company is represented in more than 60 countries around the globe selling over one million vehicles in 2018. Opel is currently implementing its electrification strategy to secure sustainable success and ensure that the future mobility demands of customers are met. By 2024, all European passenger car models will offer an electric variant. This strategy is part of the company plan PACE! with which Opel aims to become sustainably profitable, global and electric.
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