Ahead of making its global debut on the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb at the Festival of Speed, Extreme E Founder Alejandro Agag and Chairman Gil de Ferran pulled the covers off the series’ new 500bhp, all-electric racer.
With more people buying into all-electric mobility, EV launches are fast becoming the norm in the wonderful world of cars. That said, there’s nothing normal about the latest EV launch to take place on the opening Friday of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Welcome, one and all, to ODYSSEY 21 – the new all-electric, off-road challenger leading the charge in the new all-terrain motorsport series Extreme E.
Launched in February this year, Extreme E is a new racing series designed to highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. Following in the footsteps of its sister series, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Extreme E will help promote and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet and reduce air pollution.
Pitching electric, all-wheel cars against each other in some of the most testing environments on the planet, the series’ founder Alejandro Agag revealed the latest prototype at a launch event at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Made up of standardised parts manufactured by Spark Racing Technology and a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, the 400kW (550hp) ODYSSEY 21 is capable of hitting 100km/h (62mph) in 4.5 seconds, while tackling gradients of up to 130 per cent.
Under the sleek body work, sits a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage. Keeping the cars planted is the job of the tyres, designed for both extreme winter and summer requirements, which were developed by founding partner and tyre specialists Continental.
“The Extreme E-SUV ODYSSEY 21 is unlike anything else in motorsport,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E – operating partner of Extreme E. “The cutting-edge technology our industry-leading partners have employed in its design and construction has resulted in a stunning car, capable of the highest performance in the toughest and most varied environments on the planet.
“Extreme E’s combination of top-level sporting competition and ultra-demanding environments will also prove to be a significant research and development platform for manufacturers, driving further advancements in sustainable mobility.”
After breaking cover, the Spark Racing Technology-built ODYSSEY 21 headed up the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb, completing its first demonstration run in the shadow of Goodwood House. The run comes just one week after the full initial build of the prototype car was completed at the Spark factory in Tigery,
France.From the get-go, teams will be able to test and develop their own powertrain and select areas of bodywork, such as the engine cover, front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and lights to reflect everyday road car models.
“Our challenge was to build a car that could face all the variations in surface and terrain that will be thrown its way, which will include gravel, rock, mud, ice, snow, water and sand, too,” said Theophile Gouzin, Technical Director of Spark Racing Technology.
“Straight out-of-the-box in Season 1, the ODYSSEY 21 and its performance is going to be very impressive, exceeding the power and torque of World Rally Championship and rally raid cars. The numbers are mind-blowing, really.
“The torque and power density from the powertrain is also a breakthrough. We’re getting huge figures from a small package, which means lighter weight, space savings and ultimately improved economy.
“All of this innovation and these lessons learned, are transferable from race-car to road – ultimately benefiting the consumer and the sustainable mobility cause.”
With races planned in glacial, rainforest, artic, mountainous and desert ecosystems, Extreme E will put the teams, drivers and cars through their paces in some of the most testing but fragile environments in the world.
“Whether it’s in the Arctic, Himalayas, Amazon, Sahara or on Indian Ocean Islands, this car will showcase the ability of E-SUVs, not only to motorsports enthusiasts, but also to consumers who are looking to make their own difference to the planet by choosing an electric SUV,” added Agag.
Source: ABB Formula E