Formula E

Formula E is the first global all-electric racing series, which has released its another racecar model that will run in its new upcoming off-road sister sport, “Extreme E.” Dubbed Odyssey 21, the all-electric SUV made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK this weekend. It is just a prototype and will hit off-road racecourses around the world in 2021.

The wheels alone measure 940mm 37 inches in diameter, according to Extreme E’s organizers. The SUV’s body is 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) wide, 1.9 meters (6.2 feet) tall, 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) long, and the whole thing weighs a whopping 1,650 kilograms (3,638 pounds). The Odyssey 21 doesn’t look like any electric SUV currently in production but it does resemble off-roaders used in races like the Baja 1000 and Dakar Rally.

The vehicle was built by Spark Racing Technologies, the same company that manufactures Formula E’s single-seaters, with a battery pack from Williams Advanced Engineering, the current Formula E battery supplier. The purpose behind Formula E’s single-seat race cars is to standardize as many components as possible to keep costs down.

As per the Formula E, the electric SUV racer boasts 550 horsepower, allowing it do zero to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is the same as a Jaguar I-Pace and a few versions of the Tesla Model X are quicker. Also, Formula E claims that it can tackle gradients of up to 130%. The racer also boasts special Continental tires designed to handle extreme terrain. With Formula E, the extreme E race team won’t be allowed to change the basic chassis or battery pack, but they will be allowed to develop their own powertrains.

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The goal of the Formula E cars is to race in far-flung places with fragile ecosystems to highlight the impact of climate change, as well as promote electric vehicle technology. The company is working out how will that happen because it did just sign a multi-year broadcast deal with Fox Sports. If the final vehicle looks the same as the prototype then you have to hold your seats because Extreme E would be a racing series full of big, beefy EVs that are also really fast. At the event, a Swedish racing driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, who drove the Odyssey 21 up to the hill at Goodwood, clearly can be heard saying at the end of the clip above: “Holy shit!”

Extreme E will also let teams modify some parts of the bodywork. Currently, many automakers are racing in Formula E have electric SUVs in production, or at least in development. The opportunity to make the Odyssey 21 racer look just like the production model would help convince those automakers to make the jump to Extreme E.

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