CONVINCING RALLYCROSS FANS THAT ELECTRIC IS A GOOD IDEA IS TOUGH, BUT DOMINIK WILDE THINKS NRX’S PLAN IS THE BEST ONE YET
WORDS BY DOMINIK WILDE
And so begins my biggest challenge since I became DirtFish’s Rallycross Editor: convincing rallycross’ fervent fanbase that the world ‘electric’ can be associated with a good idea.
First of all, this will no doubt disappoint, perhaps even anger some people but electric cars are needed for top-level rallycross to survive in the short-term. They may be expensive, quiet, and lack the emotion of the flame-spitting brutes we have now, but it’s the truth.
You don’t have to like them, but at the end of the day in order to race vehicles, you need manufacturers. And, thanks to ever-tightening legislation and environmental targets, brands are being forced to go down the electric route. In order for manufacturers to spend millions a year on racing programs, those programs must reflect the direction of the wider automotive industry whether we like it or not.
But if the rallycross faithful is to truly embrace electric mobility, it needs to bring something new to the table, not just take the place of the tried, tested, and much-loved.
So far, all electric rallycross concepts that have made it to fruition have been equal to or replacing existing categories. Projekt E appeared as something of a Supercar equivalent; while RX2e might present a performance step up over the existing RX2 car, but at the end of the day it’s still a like-for-like replacement.
"If the rallycross faithful is to truly embrace electric mobility, it needs to bring something new to the table not just take the place of the tried, tested, and much-loved." - Dominik Wilde
This is where Nitro Rallycross’ planned electric series – which will arrive in 2022 –has every other electric rallycross idea licked. A giant leap in performance compared to existing Supercars. Check. An accessible platform. Check. A new type of body style. Check.
It’s not just rallycross with a thick coat of green paint, it’s something very different.
NRX’s FC1-X (rendered below), is being developed by electromobility specialist QEV and rallycross giants Olsbergs MSE and will produce the equivalent of 1,000 bhp and launch off the line with a force of 3G. That’s around 400 bhp more than we have now and double the G forces, while 0-60mph times will be slashed by nearly half a second too.
There really will be more of everything. Everything except sound, but surely losing one thing for the sake of many more benefits that only electric power can bring is worth it.