GCK Motorsport announced the e-Blast 1, the first battery-electric rally car. The racing team also has future plans for a hydrogen-electric version with a longer range.
The rally racing industry has been booming in recent years, and teams do their best to produce the finest cars. Following the electrification trend, GCK Motorsport has come out with an electric rally car that will undoubtedly change the norms.
The GCK e-Blast 1 is the first step in a four-year strategy to make racing cars clean and efficient. With plans to convert the e-Blast 1 to hydrogen power shortly, GCK wants to completely phase-out gas-powered rally cars and replace them with more sustainable options.
The e-Blast 1 will debut at the Dakar Rally in Neom, Saudi Arabia, this year, although not as a part of January’s race. Nonetheless, e-Blast 1 will take part in many cross-country competitions.
The e-Blast 1 uses Peugeot’s platform from 2018, which Carlos Sainz drove to the title. However, instead of a gas engine, GCK’s version includes a battery-electric powertrain producing 350 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the battery pack has a 150-kWh capacity, while the top speed is 180 km/h (112 mph).
For the future, GCK Motorsport works on a hydrogen-powered version. The reason is very straightforward – fuel cells provide a much better range, crucial for rally raids.
The FCEV rally car is already in the development phase. Behind it is the GCK Motorsport team, collaborating with sister companies GCK Technologies and GCK Energy. This hydrogen version should arrive in 2022 and start racing for the 2023-2024 season.
GCK Motorsport’s primary aim is to produce EVs that are suitable for the racing environment. The next phase of the project is to optimize the electric drivetrain for maximum range and efficiency.
It will be interesting to see how EV rally car will shake up the sport in the upcoming years. Will electric race cars merge with current gas-powered ones, or will they race in separate divisions, and, more importantly, will they completely eliminate ICE engines at one point?
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