Just last Summer, Audi left the WEC (World Endurance Championship) and Le Mans, despite having tremendous success. The four-ringed brand has recently announced that it wants to get into Formula E, likely to help rid itself of the bad image it’s received from VW’s diesel scandal. It now seems that Audi Sport, the brand’s motorsport division, wants to help back an all-electric WRC (World Rally Championship).
“There is quite a lot of potential that rallycross will be electrified in future with a very powerful car – around 800bhp. Rallycross has a race distance that can easily be covered on battery power.” said Wolfgang Durheimer.
Audi is currently racing in the WRC with an Audi S1 powered by a 565 hp 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. However, an all-electric WRC would see these racers to use only batteries and electric motors. While this might not be as visceral and exciting as the rip-snorting engines we’re used to hearing, an electric WRC could be quite interesting.
Firstly, electric motors can put out an impressive amount of power, but they can also provide torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. This could make them exciting to watch during rally racing. Also, the lack of engines, transmissions, exhaust systems, differentials and all of the other mechanical bits and pieces that standard race cars have will make electric WRC cars more reliable. There’s very little moving parts to be bumped and jolted around during the harsh rally driving.
Peugeot is also behind the idea of an electric WRC. So with a few companies backing the idea, it’s certainly a possibility in the future and one to keep an eye on.