In 2014 Formula E propelled electric motorsport into the mainstream, and there is now a rising number of new series including Extreme E, Moto E, ETCR to name a few. Joining this list is a brand new electric racing series called SuperCharge, which features next-generation road-going EVs with F1 speed battling it out on action-packed urban track environments.
Set to launch in 2022, SuperCharge is a fully electric crossover road-car based global motorsport series. Its concept, which has been developed with leading auto manufacturers is to ‘help shape the new future for motorsport’ and offer a platform to showcase the latest and future electric cars and battery technology (including smart energy management systems), to fast-track global uptake of electric vehicles.
As a manufacturer-focused series, SuperCharge is based on cars recognizable on the outside as electric road cars which the public can, or will be able to, buy. The SuperCharge race cars, codenamed SC01, will offer high-performance with similar acceleration to a Formula 1 car, and will adopt an electric motor drivetrain on the front axle and one on the rear axle, generating peak power from the battery of up to 500kW (equivalent to around 670bhp) to accelerate to 0-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.
It aims to give manufacturers the scope to develop, test and hone electric car battery technology innovations (including smart energy management systems) and relevant software in real-world racing.
Teams will be able to adapt the standard specification car in two ways. The first is the car’s bodywork, so the public have a clear visual link between the striking race car on the track and the one they can, or will, enjoy on the road. The second is battery technology system development, that can in turn enhance the underlying battery performance of road-going EVs. To reflect the full electric ecosystem on public roads, the SuperCharge race car will also be designed to use roadside fast charging systems and connectors.
To ensure racing is extremely competitive and entertaining, the technical regulations of the series mean the only ways of gaining improved on-track performance come from a combination of driver skill (driver aids including launch control, traction control, brakeby-wire are explicitly outlawed), mechanical set-up (including suspension and differential adjustment) and team development of battery technology systems – spanning power draw-down, battery geometry, cooling and battery management systems.
The format keeps things short and attention-grabbing with 15 races per event of maximum six-lap duration on short, easy-to-view 1km(approx.) circuits.
Every SuperCharge race track will feature four unique characteristics. The first is the 2.5m ramp that could project the cars up to 10 meters on every lap. Able to accommodate two or more cars abreast, it will be an integral racing element and core circuit feature, enabling drivers to utilize different jump entry and exit tactics.
The second feature of the circuit is the low friction zones that will allow the cars to slide, drift and touch, increasing close-quarter racing. Every SuperTrack will also feature a water gantry, adding yet another dimension to the circuit to test driver skill by creating a dry/wet/dry surface transition.
The final feature is the SuperLoop, a once-per-race lap extension that can be deployed tactically to gain an advantage over competing drivers.
The inaugural series is targeting eight events taking place across the globe, in cities from Asia-Pacific, China, Europe, Middle East and USA.
“Motorsport is at a crossroads,” says SuperCharge managing director and co-founder Rob Armstrong. “Alejandro Agag and Jean Todt have done a great job pioneering electric motorsport. With many countries and cities already announcing plans to ban internal combustion-engine cars in the coming years, the need for road car-based electric motorsport is becoming more and more compelling. We believe it is only a matter of time before there are more electric motorsport series. Given this rapidly increasing EV momentum, we believe the timing and appeal of SuperCharge is ideal and see a clear space for it as the road car-relevant motorsport series.”
“We have carefully conceived SuperCharge to take account into these societal changes and to consider the needs of car companies, fans, commercial parties and venues in order to make a truly sustainable and commercially viable new series. SuperCharge takes motorsport into a new and hugely relevant arena and we can’t wait to spark the series into life across the globe.”