NASCAR and Formula E present this electric SUV for ovals with more than 1,000 hp

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It was only a matter of time before someone created another track series with SUVs as the focus. What we didn’t imagine was that this project would be born from an unexpected union. Formula E and NASCAR joined forces to create this: an electric SUV in the style stock car American and acts as a prototype for some future series. Something like Extreme E, but on street circuits, permanent circuits and ovals.

In fact, this server has been following NASCAR for quite some time. And the existence of the legendary electric NASCAR car was a long-simmering rumor. A process that was accelerated with the intervention of Formula E, who were interested in organizing a race at the Homestead-Miami Circuit, which belongs to NASCAR. That was the last detail that this electric SUV needed to see the light of day.

Aside from the LED lights, its design is a mix of the Chevrolet Blazer EV, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Toyota bZ4x.

Testing a radical concept

The way NASCAR and Formula E presented this project was as an electric prototype to evaluate technologies and the small possibility of a series with SUVs in the future. And it makes sense, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota pose crossovers electric cars that could enter this category, since these are the three brands that compete in NASCAR today.

That said, the way Formula E and NASCAR are presenting this electric SUV prototype is not as a replacement for their rules going forward. It is rather a separate category (if it exists at all), just as MotoGP and MotoE coexist separately.

The design alone communicates that this is meant to be a separate product. Aside from its generic coupe-SUV silhouette, the prototype is what you’d imagine a pickup truck to one day grow up to be a GT3 or touring car, but born in the thick of NASCAR territory. The most striking thing is the huge rear spoiler that emerges from the window, in strong contrast to the more conservative one. spoiler of the cars in NASCAR.

Spoiler to tame those 1,300 horses

Formula E title sponsor ABB used the NASCAR race on the streets of Chicago to demonstrate this electric SUV. Former Ford driver David Ragan was tasked with testing it for a few laps, taming the nearly 1,000 kW of power (about 1,300 horsepower) through the streets of the city centre. Its development also had technical support from Chevy, Ford and Toyota, just like the Le Mans Garage 56 project.

If the idea is to have a series of SUVs only, this concept does not seem like a bad starting point, whether it is 100% electric or not.

The suspension is independent like the current NASCAR car, but with three motors distributed between the two axles and a 78 kWh battery. Thanks to regenerative braking, this prototype could well appear in short races (sprints) on street circuits or short ovals, taking advantage of heavy braking.

The first impression is that of a car that turns planted to the ground, brakes quite well and has an incomparable take-off. Funny, since a NASCAR car or a Formula E car are notoriously difficult race cars to control and that’s why we love them.. This struggle of the pilot to tame a machine that only wants to slide is what attracts eyes to these categories.

Concept of proof nothing more

What’s more, NASCAR He admits that the prototype exists “to explore a future possibility,” so this prototype could remain just that, a concept. The category does not want to abandon its V8 combustion engines, but recognizes that it must explore other avenues in the future to reduce emissions.

One of them is hybridization, which can flourish thanks to the technologies that are tested in this concept. The other routes are hydrogen or synthetic fuel, both capable of preserving the combustion engine.

As such, this prototype exists only to prove that it is possible. And, in the process, to gauge fan interest in a category of electric pickup trucks only. If they put on a good show and don’t replace the classic V8s, I see no problem in enjoying a number of those features. Formula E attracts quite a few fans, who watch the races for the chaos, but it’s a loyal audience.

 
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