The brand CUPRA e-Racer may well have “paved the way” when it comes to emission-free touring car racing, according to CUPRA Racing’s head of technical development, Xavi Serra.
The new CUPRA e-Racer became the world’s first all-electric racing touring car upon its unveil earlier this year in February, and, according to Serra, could well open the floodgates when it comes to all-electric tin top motorsport.
“The e-Racer was the benchmark for creating an international multi-brand competition,” Serra explains. “From a technical point of view, we have paved the way. We have optimised the weight of many of the components. Internally, the bodywork features significant changes to install the battery and other electrical components. We’ve [also] taken a step forward in safety, as we’ve worked on improving the battery’s resistance to impact and intrusion.
“Not only has the safety arc been reinforced from a racing point of view, we have also worked with new components to achieve a better level of rigidity and torsion.”
The e-Racer has been earmarked for the new all-electric Pure ETCR series in 2021, and, in-keeping with CREVENTIC’s regulations designed to promote electric competition, the CUPRA e-Racer is also eligible to compete in the 24H SERIES from 2020 onwards. As part of a new green initiative that also includes offsetting the series’ carbon emissions with the help of the Trees for the Future foundation, electric and/or hybrid machines are eligible to compete in CREVENTIC’s experimental ‘SP4’ class. Competitors concerned with battery range across a 12 and/or 24-hour duration are also permitted to contest part of the event with either a replacement electric tin top or an internal combustion equivalent.
Electric propulsion is provided by a liquid-cooled 65kWh battery pack which sends power to four, single-speed motors connected to each individual wheel. Combined, peak power can reach 500kW (680hp) while torque tops out at 960Nm (708lb ft). At full pelt, the e-Racer will hit 0-100kph in just 3.2 seconds en-route to a 270kph top speed.
Electric propulsion aside, the new CUPRA e-Racer also borrows heavily from the CUPRA Leon road car on which it is based, most notably the ‘MQB Evo’ gen chassis and the longer wheelbase, now extending by 50mm over the roadcar’s predecessor. That, plus a “lower and wider stance” should improve mechanical and aero stability through the corners.
Speaking of which, the revised bodywork, which again draws parallels with CUPRA’s existing TCR car, now features a new bonnet and front splitter to encourage better airflow at the front end. With no front-mounted engine, and thus no need for air cooling, the front grille is rendered pointless. The completely flat floorpan is another new addition, as are newly designed bumpers front and rear, door sills, wheel wings, and the rear spoiler.
Back in February, CUPRA also unveiled the new Leon Competición, a development of both the CUPRA Leon road car and the company’s existing Leon TCR. Unlike its all-electric counterpart, the Competición features a front-mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as required by global TCR regulations. The 1,986cc unit sends 340hp and 410Nm (302lb ft) of torque to the front wheels via a Hewland six-speed sequential gearbox. Capable of 260kph, the Competición is just over a second slower from standstill to 100kph at 4.5 seconds.
The new suspension geometry meanwhile has been built with lightweight components as part of a crash diet for the CUPRA’s TCR representative, one that includes a lighter, and more robust, “racing-specific electronics architecture”. Revised bodywork meanwhile, one that’s set to concurrently improve aero efficiency and downforce, completes the new development.
“CUPRA has always had a pioneering role in motorsport and were the developer of the first TCR platform,” explained CUPRA Racing director Jaime Puig on both models’ debuts. “With the CUPRA Leon Competición and CUPRA e-Racer we are continuing to break new ground.
“Both vehicles have been designed to compete at the highest level and bring a competitive edge to the teams running them, having been developed specifically to meet TCR and ETCR technical regulations and requirements.”
Order books are now open on the CUPRA Leon Competición, which, like the e-Racer, is also eligible to compete in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook.
*Further details regarding the 24H SERIES can be found at 24hseries.com, or by contacting our team directly at [email protected] and/or +31 485 471 166