One fun side effect of EV fever is the sudden urge to revive every beloved enthusiast car of yore with electric power. Sure, it’s getting a little predictable, but you’ll never hear me complain about smart people doing cool shit with an old Opel Manta chassis, or making the Quattro spiritual successor Audi refuses to.
That brings us to GCK Exclusiv-e, a French outfit that’s been hard at work on its own restomod of the famed Lancia Delta Integrale, called the Delta Evo-e. The company’s take on the rally-bred classic churns the equivalent of 200 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque, while carrying a max range of 124 miles on a charge. GCK intends to make just 44 examples, but its plans for the Delta don’t stop there.
GCK Motorsport announced it’ll be campaigning an all-electric Delta in the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship, in the top RX1e class. Next year’s season marks World RX’s first as a completely electric series, whereby all cars in a given category will employ a spec electric powertrain. In the Delta’s case, that’ll be a Kreisel Electric-supplied dual-motor setup, providing 680 horsepower and 647 lb-ft of torque.
GCK appears well suited for the project. Affiliate GCK Energy has been tasked with supplying the entire RX2e grid with electricity throughout the 2021 campaign. The motorsport arm is also mounting a hydrogen fuel cell challenger for Dakar next year, called the e-Blast H2.
In total, 14 cars will contest World RX’s top class next year. Unlike the existing RX2e category, which is essentially a one-make series utilizing a car developed by Olsbergs MSE and QEV Technologies, RX1e machines will sport unique bodywork to make the grid at least a little more visually interesting, even if those vehicles all happen to be powered by the same tech under their shells.
World RX’s marketing line is that the sprint nature of rallycross makes the discipline an excellent use case for electrification in motorsport. On paper, it’s difficult to find fault with that claim. Formula E may have been a little early on the jump, what with the necessity of mid-race car switching for the series’ first few years. But for types of racing where few compromises need to be made, like rallycross, moving toward all-electric power is a no-brainer. Plus, it encourages cool ideas, like resurrecting one of rallying’s most storied silhouettes on the world stage.
Current RX1 cars are built within subcompact shells, like that of the Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 208. That makes the move to a bigger body style, like the Delta’s, a bit surprising but extremely cool, in an old-school kind of way. Another team should do similar work with a Celica ST205 so the Delta has a proper, period-appropriate rival.