New e-TCR Series launched as touring car racing embarks on an electric future

by James Bowers
Rendering of the new Cupra e-Racer

There’s no doubt about it; the future of the motoring industry is electric – whether we like it or not. So, as manufacturers embark on revolutionary R&D programmes to make these new powertrains viable, WSC Technology (a subsidiary of the WSC Group) have made the timely announcement that they plan to launch a brand new touring car championship – the perfect proving ground for any new EV innovations. The aptly named ‘e-TCR’ concept will step away from its family of petrol-powered sister series and become one of the first high-profile tin-top championships for 100% electric cars.

The cars in question will be based upon 4/5-door production vehicles, therefore mirroring most other touring car championships out there. Underneath, they’ll be fitted with double wishbone rear suspension and McPherson struts at the front, while power will be sent to the rear wheels. The electric motor will be a standardised, e-TCR branded unit with a maximum power output of 500kW @ 12,000 rpm. That’s 670 horsepower in archaic terms; around double the current petrol TCR cars’ power figures.

The Cupra e-Racer at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Credit: 2018 WSC Ltd.

Alongside the announcement of the new championship (which is set to begin in 2019), the first eligible model was revealed too during the recent Geneva Motor Show. SEAT unveiled the striking Cupra e-Racer, which has been built to the aforementioned e-TCR regulations, and uses the road-car chassis from a standard Leon hatchback as its foundation.

According to the Spanish marque, the car will certainly be no slouch. After sprinting from 0-100kmh (0-62mph) in just 3.2 seconds, the Cupra e-Racer will be able to keep accelerating in its single gear until it reaches a maximum speed of 270kmh (168mph). In addition to the on-track performance, it’s charging times are set to be rather quick too. It’ll take just 40 minutes to fully recharge the car’s 450kg battery pack, which will certainly come in handy within the context of a time-sensitive race weekend schedule.

In his official press release statement, Marcello Lotti (President of the WSC Group) had this to say: “First of all, we wish to thank SEAT for embracing the concept and building the CUPRA e-Racer, which is the first car totally in compliance with the e-TCR technical  regulations.

“Why e-TCR? Because our Group feels to have a sense of responsibility towards the whole touring car racing scene and so consequently could not ignore the trends of developing new technologies. We will be working on the same technical principles that made TCR so successful, with the aim of creating a platform for this new configuration.”

By launching a fully electric championship, TCR has followed the pathway forged by Formula E, rallycross and the GT community as the world of motorsport enters an intriguing new technological era.

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