New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon and his own team have finally revealed their new rally car – based on the Hyundai Kona EV – with it now ready for a large test program.
In collaboration with Hyundai New Zealand and with using technical parts from Austrian electric motorsport technology firm STARD, the team have created the car that Paddon will begin to use in his native New Zealand in 2021.
The car was presented to the media last week and in fully operation will deliver 400kW of power with an estimated rallying debut in the second half of next year.
Paddon revealed that 80% of the car had been developed in house, including the chassis design, aerodynamics, wheel suspension, steering, cooling and electronics all being designed by a seven man team led by the former WRC driver.
STARD has assisted with the electrical components in the car and are arguably the leading manufacturer for electric components currently in the sport. Owner and World Rallycross driver Manfred Stohl also created the Projekt E series that made its rallycross debut earlier this year.
Paddon believes that the car on paper is clearly competitive against petrol powered cars due to weight distribution that is much better with the electric car, as well as potentially being more reliable due to less moving parts being used.
Next autumn will hopefully see the car in competition against today’s Rally2 and AP4 cars in New Zealend, although he’ll have to wait until 2022 when the car will be allowed to be classified in the national championship and compete for gold in the New Zealand Rally Championship.
Paddon believes that electrifying the sport is important in line with keeping up with the rapid development of road cars, especially if the sport is going to continue to contribute to development in the automotive industry and the New Zealand driver also admitted that he needs the car to create solid relationships with authorities and unions to ensure potential outings in the future are allowed to happen.
The car will make its first public appearance at the Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge Rally in New Zealand where Paddon will drive several stages to demonstrate the new machine alongside his regular Hyundai i20 AP4.
You can watch the unveiling video below: