Two prototypes of the 134bhp Corsa-e Rally car are undergoing durability testing at Opel's Dudenhofen Test Centre; to debut at the 2020 ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup.
Opel became the first car manufacturer in the world to glimpse the first-ever battery-electric vehicle (BEV) for mainstream rallying when it pulled the covers off the Corsa-e Rally car at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2019). Based on the standard Opel Corsa-e production car, the Corsa-e Rally makes use of the same 50kWh battery pack (as the Corsa-e) that produces 134bhp & 260Nm of torque. While the battery has a claimed WLTP test range of 337km, Opel has added three driving modes to optimise driving range for the rallying: Competition Mode (Full power & torque), Rain Mode (lower torque) and Eco Mode (for driving in-between stages and to service parks). The Corsa-e Rally will make its stage debut at the 2020 ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, the world's first electric one-make rally championship.
As for the car's testing, two prototypes are currently undergoing durability testing at Opel's Dudenhofen Test Centre. Speaking about the durability tests, Jörg Schrott, Director - Opel Motorsport said, 'We have two objectives. Both cars are covering as many kilometres as possible, in order to gather the maximum amount of data at an early stage. There is no experience of an electric rally car that we could turn to, so initially, we had to rely on calculations and simulations. These are being gradually replaced with real data. Other focuses are on loads and temperature management of the battery under rally conditions, as well as adapting the software. I am pleased to report that our programme is going smoothly.'
After the durability testing, Opel Motorsport engineers will focus on increasing the speed & performance of the 134bhp rally car. As per Schrott, Opel aims to make the Corsa-e Rally an even better race machine than its petrol-powered predecessor used in the Opel ADAM Cup. 'We also decided that the Corsa-e Rally should match and exceed the high standards of its petrol-engine predecessor, the Opel ADAM Cup. We are on the right road here too. While the power output is almost the same, the 260Nm of torque is much higher than the ADAM Cup car. The centre of gravity is low, thanks to the underfloor-mounted battery, and the weight distribution is also very good, which is extremely important for an agile competition car. Now we need to find the most balanced chassis setup, so in January we will start simulating some real rally stages,' added Schrott.
Once results from the final testing are given the green light, Opel will build a 'reference' car that will act as the template for the 20 or so customer vehicles that are being planned for the inaugural 2020/21 ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup season.