Baumschlager Rallye & Racing together with Kreisel Electric are currently developing an all-electric Škoda Fabia Rally2, the first of its kind, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused issues for the Austrian companies, with the project now around 4-5 months behind schedule. They have lost time when the country went into lockdown and employees had to be laid off, then delivery problems have emerged that caused further delays.
Up until the ongoing pandemic started, the project was on schedule, but now they have had to postpone the official debut to Jänner Rally in January next year. The plan was to have completed a major test and development programme already this year to be ready for a championship fight in Austria in 2021.
It is hoped that the very first tests outside the factory will be started in October ready for the first event for the new car in the enriching winter event Jänner Rally.
The development of the car also helps them for the new hybrid solution in WRC in which Kreisel Electric is also involved, which is why they had hoped to get further with this project. However, the technical parts of the new Škoda Fabia REX come from rallycross.
In FIA World Rallycross Championship they stayed ahead against their rivals when the bids came in, but for the rally car, it was about other conditions, less power but more endurance. No equivalent of 500kw is not needed on the rally stages, here the half of the power suffices and with 16,000 rpm they can reach 220kph at top speed. The investment is to make the car comparable to today’s R5 cars.
For the rally, a battery is needed that can handle several miles with special stages and transport between them, while at the same time the batteries safety is an important point to be available to handle everything.
135 kilometres without charging is what the schedule for Jänner Rally will contain, it must be able to be cope without having problems with the electricity supply even in cold winter conditions. However, charging a near-empty battery on service is no problem, a full charge of 18 minutes is promised thanks to new battery technology which is well managed on a visit to the service.