Manfred Stohl: the ERX electric rallycross as competitive as the ICE Car News

It is clear from our meeting that Manfred Stohl is very proud of the work his team has accomplished on the STARD Fiesta.

A former WRC regular and World Rally Championship winner in 2000, the Austrian has been working on EV competition cars for more than five years now, but this Fiesta is his greatest creation to date. “It’s amazing to drive and very user-friendly,” he says. “For me it’s even better than the Citroën Xsara WRC, which had the differentials active and was the ultimate rally car.

After our laps it is clear that the Fiesta is fast, but is it faster than the ICE cars? “It’s actually very close,” says Stohl. “Some tracks suit us better than petrol cars, with fast and smooth tracks with good surface grip giving us a slight advantage. On tighter circuits we can add some weight with our extra weight. “

Ah yes, the thorny question of Mass. At around 1450 kg, the STARD weighs about a few hundred pounds more than the competition ICE, but is there any way to reduce the weight? “Of course we can reduce the weight, but there is always a cost,” Stohl replies. “We could have more compact motors and batteries, for example, but they can cost two or three times as much and we want this car to be as affordable as normal thermal models. The price of technology keeps dropping, so it is quite possible that we can match the cost and weight in the future. “

Stohl has been racing rallycross for a few years now, but rallying is close to his heart. His father was a mainstay of the WRC in the ’70s and’ 80s, while Manfred has rallied for nearly a quarter of a century.

How does he see electric vehicles operating on long-distance multi-day events? “We’re already running,” he said with a smile. “I was competing in the Polish Championship with our Citroën C3 R5, which uses the same system as the Fiesta but with only two engines – one at the front and one at the rear – for around 300 horsepower. This car also has a larger 55 kWh battery and regenerative braking. We were in the first five stages of the stage, which is good considering our extra weight.

With that, he sets off for another high-speed Lydden ride. It’s clear that this small Austrian company and its cleverly designed EV powertrain have overtaken the major manufacturers, and as electrification inevitably comes to dominate motorsport over the next few years, don’t be surprised to see cars featuring of STARD technology leading the way. .


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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 23:01:24