Electric rally car to shock the rally world

Never one to sit on his hands for long, Hayden Paddon’s announcement this week that he’s developing an electrical rally car is exciting news.

For the traditional rally fans among us, there was once sentence in Paddon’s announcement that really got the hairs on the back of the neck standing up.

“I’m committed to making sure our car creates the kind of noise a rally fan enjoys,” he said.

There it is. In just 16 words the number one fear of generations of rally fans has been laid to rest.

“From an entirely practical point of view, a rally car needs to create a loud and distinctive sound for the safety of officials, marshals, media and spectators out viewing the rally action,” Paddon adds.

We all know the technological importance of electric vehicles, both to the environment and to keep moving forward, but noise is really what it’s all about.

Having said that, this new Kona electric rally car is going to be exciting to watch, as Paddon mentioned regularly in the press conference at his Cromwell base.

Electric cars are already producing up to 1000 horsepower – that’s 745kW! And the course record for the famed Pikes Peak Hillclimb is now held by an electric vehicle.

“It’s how you harness that performance for rallying, for example with torque vectoring for gravel/low grip situations and the range needed to compete a full day’s rallying,” he added.

For most of us though, that’s just technical jargon that we’ll let the electronic boffins work out.

In reality, we just want it to sound good, and thanks to Paddon Rallysport, that appears like it’s going to be the case.

Like four-wheel drive, sequential gearboxes and electronic diffs, we may have been hesitant at first, but they all worked out okay.

After Paddon’s announcement, we have every reason to believe that these electric rally car gizmos might just be the duck’s guts as well.

Rally NZ – Where there’s smoke…..

Rumours that Rally New Zealand will be back on the WRC calendar in 2020 continue to circulate, although nobody is willing to confirm or deny them.

A Finnish newspaper reported last week that New Zealand will replace Australia in 2020, in one of three changes that would also see Kenya and Japan replace Corsica and Turkey.

But Rally Australia officials remain confident that they’ll have a spot again next year, confirming they’ve had good dialogue with the WRC promotor over recent weeks.

Other than deciding which events are on the calendar for next year, it’s difficult to know what else could be holding up the publishing of the calendar.

There was talk that Hayden Paddon’s big announcement on Tuesday could have also included something to do with the WRC, but that wasn’t the case.

Even a respected WRC journalist whom Talk Motorsport spoke to this week was none the wiser, and like the rest of us, is eagerly anticipating the news.

Regardless of whether the WRC is in Australia or New Zealand in 2020, rally fans Down Under should be thankful that we’ve at least got an event to support, and one that we can get to relatively easily.

The decision won’t please everyone, but as they say, beggars can’t be choosers.

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media.

http://rallysportmag.com

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