FIA World Rallycross

Kristoffersson Unveils Sustainably-Fuelled 2024 World Rallycross Challenger

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KMS - Horse Powertrain's new VW Polo KMS 601 RX. Credit: Rallycross Promoter GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

Kristoffersson Motorsport have revealed that they are taking a new approach to the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship. The team, rebranded as KMS – HORSE Powertrain, have unveiled their sustainably-fuelled car, driven by an internal combustion engine (ICE) for the inaugural “Battle of Technologies” season in world rallycross.

The two VW Polo KMS 601 RX cars will be driven by the now familiar pairing of Ole Christian Veiby and six-time world champion Johan Kristoffersson. Despite winning both drivers’ and teams’ championships in both 2022 and 2023 in all-electric machinery, the team have elected to switch to a new challenge facilitated by a new partnership with Swedish company Aurobay and HORSE Powertrain.

Kristoffersson and Veiby together in Hong Kong, 2023. Credit: Rallycross Promoter GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

According to the official press release, “Aurobay develops, engineers and manufactures world-class, next-generation powertrain solutions, while HORSE Powertrain Limited is a global leader in hybrid and combustion powertrain components and systems, with a 19,000-strong workforce across three continents.

Developed by KMS over the winter, the cars have been described by Tommy Kristoffersson, team principal, as the best his team have ever created. “This is a win-win situation – we will benefit tremendously from each other” Kristoffersson explained. “We both have a large staff of extremely talented engineers, meaning we will be able to exchange experiences and also personnel.

The team will of course have to work to be competitive against the established all-electric machinery. Hansen World RX Team have already confirmed their all-electric line up, as have CE Dealer Team. When speaking with The Checkered Flag, 2019 world champion Timmy Hansen mused on the relative merits of electric versus ICE. “On a lap, the electric cars don’t have shifting, we don’t have turbo lags, so we should gain there” the Swedish driver explained. “Also, we have more power so that should be our advantage. The disadvantage will come on braking. That’s where the combustion cars are very strong, because they’ve got one motor driving four wheels.”

A new name on the world rallycross grid – HORSE Powertrain. Credit: Rallycross Promoter GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

Six-time world champion Johan Kristoffersson remains pragmatic in his approach to the season. “It will be tough to compete against the electric cars with our newly-built machines, but Aurobay is a dream partner for us, not only as a sponsor but also in technical terms,” he remarked when discussing long-term plans. “It will be really fun to work with a long-term structure and be able to plan accordingly. This is an exciting project that has a lot of typical KMS spirit about it.”

Veiby, who, despite displaying great pace, remains winless so far in world rallycross, is equally restrained in expressing how fast the car could be. “We are doing a turnaround and going in a different direction, which makes it difficult to predict how we will compare with the competition,” the Norwegian driver said. “There are many complicated elements that have to be tested on a new car, but it will be very exciting to work with such a large and supportive partner.

The 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship kicks off at the “Magic Weekend” in Höljes, Sweden on Saturday 6 July. With such a wealth of experience and talent in and supporting the team, it seems likely that KMS – HORSE Powertrain will be able to be competitive very rapidly.

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Lifelong fan of motor sport, covering the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the FIA WEC, the shortest and longest races covered by the FIA!
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