Extreme E unveils brand-new electric SUV at Goodwood Festival of Speed

by Nathan Hine
Extreme E car at Goodwood Festival of Speed

The brand-new Extreme E Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was revealed for the very first time at last weekend’s 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car, which will compete in the off-road electric production car championship, has been named the ODYSSEY 21 and enjoyed a successful maiden run up the famous hillclimb.

But this is a car like no other as it will feature in Extreme E’s radical new racing series which will highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems and promote the adoption of electric vehicles to preserve the environment and save the planet.

As such, it will feature in a series of docu-sport programmes that will be broadcast in extreme environments such as the Arctic, the Amazon Rainforest, Himalayas Mountains, Indian Ocean Islands and the Sahara Desert.

The first public outing for the Spark Racing Technology-built ODYSSEY 21 saw it complete demonstration runs up the famed Goodwood Hillclimb right in front of Goodwood House.

Looking on to see how their creation performed on its first outing was ABB FIA Formula E CEO and Founder of Extreme E Alejandro Agag and Extreme E adviser Gil de Ferran. Speaking afterwards Agag said, “The Extreme E-SUV, ODYSSEY 21, is unlike anything else in motorsport.

The cutting-edge technology our industry-leading partners have employed in its design and construction has resulted in a stunning car, capable of the highest performance in the toughest and most varied environments on the planet. “

The ODYSSEY 21 has high performance figures which speak for themselves with a peak output of 400 KW (500 bhp) with a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 s at gradients of up to 130%. Each car consists of a common package manufactured by Spark Racing Technology as well as a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering.

From that basis, teams will be able to test and develop their own powertrain and select areas of bodywork which they can work on to gain a performance advantage. Venturi are currently the only team to have formally committed to the first season of Extreme E which will begin in earnest in 2021.

Theophile Gouzin, Technical Director of Spark Racing Technology which built the chassis of the ODYSSEY 21 said:

“Our challenge was to build a car that could face all the variations in surface and terrain that will be thrown its way, which will include gravel, rock, mud, ice, snow, water and sand, too.

Straight out-of-the-box in Season 1, the ODYSSEY 21 and its performance is going to be very impressive, exceeding the power and torque of World Rally Championship and rally raid cars. The numbers are mind-blowing, really.”

Testing of the ODYSSEY 21 will get underway in September with delivery of 12 cars courtesy of Spark Racing Technology by March 2020 to the respective teams of the Extreme E series. Then group testing will commence mid-way through 2020 before the competitors board HMS St. Helena ahead of the opening race in the Arctic circle in January/February 2021.  

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