SEAT has debuted the world’s first electric touring car, the e-Racer by Cupra.
Powered by volts alone the e-Racer will take part in the upcoming ETCR series which will begin in 2020. The test happened at the Montmelo Circuit in Barcelona, where the 670 hp electric race car was put through its paces by Rallycross competitor and former Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters driver Mattias Ekström.
With a top speed of 167 MPH, the e-Racer can get to 62 mph from a standstill in just 3.2 seconds and on to 124 mph in 8.2 flat.
Powered by a relatively heavy 450 kg battery pack that’s equivalent to the same power output as 9,000 mobile phones the motors make 300 kW of continuous power. When needed an extra 200 kW can be rung out of the system to make a peak power of 500 kW.
Four-wheel drive helps keep the e-Racer on the tarmac at such high speeds, with a motor running each wheel. In terms of comparing it to a regular car, those four engines rev to 12,000 rpm, you’re average petrol touring car only musters 6,500 rpm.
ETCR will be the second all-electric race series after Formula E, and it’s aiming to bring electric racing to the masses. It will do so by using every day, road-going vehicles that you’ll recognise to race tracks around the world.
Hyundai has also signed up along with Cupra, the development of these EV racers should help battery and motor technology in our everyday cars. Formula E has already seen a massive influx of manufacturers, all of them racing to test and develop new tech to beat the competition. Marques such as Audi have ditched Le Mans and endurance racing in favour of electric Formula 1.
Ekström is vital in developing the Cupra e-Racer and will be driving the silent touring car (hopefully) to victory during the first year of racing. When asked about his initial impressions of the car he said:
“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 tyres. 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.”
While no dates have been set for the first race, it’s hopeful more manufacturers will join Cupra and Hyundai to get ETCR up and running next year.