Electric cars could become part of World Rallycross Championship (not to be confused with World Rally Championship) events as early as 2020, organizers have revealed, with series promoter IMG saying that it is working with the FIA and the manufacturers to bring the technology to the popular series. Series managing director Paul Bellamy is on record stating that talks are ongoing to explore what electric rallycross might look like, and that he is trying to add the format because manufacturers have asked for it.
Eight carmakers are said to be involved in discussions surrounding possible rules and regulations, as well as decisions on the exact way in which such races would be carried out. Next to current WRX participants Audi, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen, other brands lining up to join the electric motorsport series appear to be BMW, Jaguar, Nissan and Volvo, with the first draft of rules scheduled to be in place by 2018.
If you think that an electric WRX will be a snoozefest with mobility scooters tootling around the track and fans heading for the exits, you’re going to be in for a surprise. The electric rally cars are expected to be more powerful than current supercars and will likely squeeze over 800hp into their small shells to ensure that spectators stay entertained.
To give you a taste of what that sort of electric power looks like in a rally setting, check out the video of Austrian rally driver Manfred Stohl in his 544hp rallycross car, which he recently used to set a new lap record at the Race of Austrian Champions.
If you really hate the idea of electric motorsports, worry not: The organizers have already made it clear that cars with internal-combustion engines will continue to race in WRX, and that the old and new worlds will not compete together, but rather operate in parallel for the time being.