The TCR touring car racing category will launch a European series for electric cars in 2020.
The announcement of ETCR, as the new series will be called, follows the unveiling of a Cupra Leon e-racer touring car and technical regulations for an electric series at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Introducing the ETCR concept at the final of the TCR Europe series in Barcelona, Marcello Lotti, president of TCR parent organization WSC, said that the electric project had begun two years ago, “with the aim of educating the motorsport community in making contact with these new technologies that represent the future reality.”
ETCR will follow the globally successful TCR concept – this sees manufacturers build production runs of cars for sale to teams, which can then run the cars in national, regional and international championships all organized to the same technical regulations.
According to Lotti ETCR is already attracting the interest of car manufacturers: “(They) regard it as a tool to restore the role of motorsport as a platform for research and development that can transfer experience and innovations to the standard products.”
Lotti added that the ultimate goal “is to show the fans that electric car races are as entertaining as those for the internal combustion-engined cars”.
Featured in the March 2018 edition of PMW, the Cupra e-Racer was developed by Maurício Slaviero, technology head of WSC, with SEAT Sport.
The initial concept was to provide a ‘drop-in’ package that WSC could supply to OEMs to fit in their stock TCR racing cars in place of the conventional gasoline engine. However, WSC also expects OEMs to in future develop their own electric drivetrains, as has happened in the Formula E electric single-seater series.
The Cupra uses two electric motors located over the rear axle, delivering up to 500kW (680bhp). The car is also equipped with an energy recovery system. While 400kg heavier than a conventional Cupra TCR car, it achieves 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds, and 0-200km/h in 8.2 seconds.
WSC will announce more details of the ETCR, including the format of each event and the season schedule, at a later date.