2021 might just be the year of really cool electric racing, because Travis Pastrana is throwing a whole new EV rallycross series into the mix. Five purpose-built tracks in North America will show off the skills of these new machines next year, with a 10-race global championship coming in 2022.
Ford, Volkswagen, Subaru, and other manufacturers have apparently come together to create the FC1-X, an all-electric SUV that’s ready to start testing in February. The press release also has a hell of a lot of good things to say about it, claiming that it’ll be the most powerful machine to ever take part in the Nitro Rallycross world. With over 1000 horsepower, all-wheel drive, three Gs of acceleration, and a 0-60 time of 1.5 seconds, that might just be the truth.
From Andreas Eriksson of First Corner, one of the companies that helped design the FC1-X:
We have been working with many leading OEM’s for over 24 months on the FC1-X. The end product is a testament to the collaborative approach to deliver the very best vehicle in electric motorsports that the OEM’s will be proud of. This vehicle will accelerate almost twice as fast as its nearest competitor and other proposed electric offerings currently on the drawing board.
With the electric SUV category the fastest growing category for auto manufacturers, FC1-X and Nitro Rallycross will provide the perfect platform for OEM’s to highlight their new models rolling off the production line across the globe and generate a global fervor for their new vehicles, which will translate to purchases.
How that plays out will remain to be seen. The electric racing community has had a tough time retaining manufacturer interest, largely because there isn’t a multifaceted benefit to developing the technology; a Formula E race might help you perfect battery life, but it isn’t a series that’s going to offer you a ton of marketability.
There might be a little more added value to an SUV racing series, since the cars will look a little more like what a manufacturer might actually design. But it remains to be seen.
Right now, there isn’t a ton of information about when the series will kick off or at what track it’ll race, but I’m still excited. It's great to see bigger names like Pastrana's attached to the EV world, and it'll be interesting to see how the series grows.