By Nile Bijoux
The 400kW-plus rally monster has been developed alongside local boy Hayden Paddon over 18 months in Cromwell. Around 80 per cent of the car was designed in-house in terms of chassis design, engineering, aerodynamics, suspension, steering, cooling and electrics.
Austrian company Stohl Advanced Research and Development (STARD) contributed to the project as Paddon Rallysport’s technical partner, providing guidance and advice.
“The car is faster on paper than an ICE car, has better weight distribution and is more reliable as there are fewer moving parts and the potential with the technology, electronics and design of the car is endless” says Paddon.
“It’s simply a new era of rallying that has new limits.
“The EV package is capable of over 800 kW, but we have focused on building this car to have comparable power to a current ICE rally car and aim for it to be winning rallies against normal ICE competition from 2022. A lot of work needs to happen between now and then, and we are confident that EV technology is going to work in a normal rally environment.”
The EV rally car needed to be fast and spectacular, as well as capable of competing in a traditional rally format against normal internal combustion engine (ICE) competition. From the outset, it was vital that the EV rally car produced a loud and distinctive sound for the safety – and enjoyment – of marshals, media and spectators out viewing the rally action.
While there’s no doubt the EV racer will be fast, it weighs considerably more than the average WRC car, which tip the scales at a minimum of 1190kg. In race trim, Hyundai says its machine weighs around 1400kg.
Whether that means Paddon will be allowed to run more power as a form of balance is unclear as yet.
Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says: “This project complements our commitment to being at the forefront of innovation and championing the EV industry here in New Zealand. It’s been an exciting journey over the last 18 months for our team to be involved in, and to watch the Hyundai Kona EV rally car come to life.”
“The first phase is finally complete, and we will enjoy this moment and watching the car make its competitive debut in coming months. We equally look forward to what’s still to come with this project.”
Source: stuff.co.nz Images: Graeme Murray