Ahead of the launch of the first all-electric touring car ETCR race series in 2020, the first-ever touring car powered purely by batteries has taken to the track for testing.
The Cupra e-Racer is a 679ps (670hp) electric racer with a top speed of 270kmh (167mph) and capable of reaching 100kmh (62mph) in just 3.2 seconds – all from a 400kg battery pack. It delivers 300kW of continuous power, reaching peaks of 500kW, to its four motors that hit 12,000 revs.
The Cupra e-Racer took to the Montmeló Circuit in Barcelona where it performed its first full-speed laps under the control of driver Mattias Ekström. It is the first time ever an all-electric touring car has been put through its paces and will go towards the fine-tuning of the car ahead of the latest electric race series, ETCR next year.
Ekström has raced in a number of different formats from karting, rallying and touring over his 25-year career and he reflected on the experience of going all-electric.
“What I’m really looking forward to is being able to control and harness all the car’s power. I think the biggest challenge is getting used to driving with no gearbox and without the roar of the engine as a reference for knowing, for example, how fast to go when taking curves,” he said.
He also described his initial impression of the car:
“It felt really good, especially when reaching full power coming out of the slow corners on the circuit. I really enjoyed the first lap. The second also went well, although I began to notice that I was forcing the rear tires. I still need some time to get used to the sound of the engine; it’s much quieter than any other I’ve driven before, and I’m a very emotional driver. In addition, I have to pay close attention to energy management in each lap; that’s essential with an electric race car, almost as important as its speed.”