Puig aims for Cupra e-Racer debut in 2018


CUPRA_e-Racer-WTCR
Image Credit: TCR Series/e-TCR

In a recent interview with TouringCars.net, Cupra’s Racing Director Jaime Puig has opened up about the latest developments regarding e-TCR, the upcoming electric touring car championship. For the original article by Andrew Abbott, please click here.

As revealed at the start of 2018, SEAT sub-marque, Cupra, have been hard at work developing an electric-powered race car based upon the current Leon TCR. With the e-TCR Series scheduled to kick-off in late 2019, Puig is hoping that the brand’s E-Racer can make its competitive debut before the end of the 2018 season.

“The goal is racing in the future e-TCR series starting at the end of 2019.” Puig explained, “The first objective is to compete in a race this year. We will do it if we are well prepared and we will compete face to face with the rest of those involved in the TCR series, of course out of competition.”

Effectively, this would mean that Cupra’s fully-electric car would go up against the current crop of petrol-powered TCR race cars, in either the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) or TCR Europe Series. No official confirmation of an entry into either series has yet been announced, but if these plans are to go ahead, Jordi Gene is a likely driver candidate given his close association with the car’s development.

At the moment, Cupra are the only brand to have publicly shown interest in the e-TCR Series, though Puig is confident that more will follow: “The objective is to compete in an exclusive series of electric cars to which more brands will arrive, with which they are already in conversations.”

Additionally, Puig also spoke about the e-Racer’s impressive performance characteristics in comparison to current TCR cars:

“With the CUPRA e-RACER the objective was to have an electric car built to TCR specifications with the same or better features than one with a petrol engine. It was presented in Geneva but we are already working on track; we have started with the tests and we will do more.”

“Everything electric is a new challenge, fun and huge by the amount of information that must be managed and put in order. The figures are compelling. We have 600 bhp, 680 bhp peak and 480 continuous, with a base weight of 1,585 kilos, although we have to lower the weight a little, at least 20 kilos.”

“The cooling system is already defined and operative, which has three different circuits, one for each element: batteries, engines and inverters. Each one with its operating temperature, and we have to see how much it can take at full capacity.”

It remains to be seen how these stark performance differences would be handled in the scenario of a WTCR wildcard entry, for example.