Opel Corsa-e Rally Cup Car: all the rowdiness, none of the snap-crackle-pop?

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Opel Corsa-e Rally Phillip Thomas

Even while the namesake cup race is idled during the pandemic, Holzer Motorsport and Opel, in partnership with Michelin Tires, have seemingly begun testing the Corsa-e Rally Cup Car in Germany. The front-drive Corsa-e can be seen here stretching its legs with a handful of skandi-flicks as it winds through the switchbacks, caught by Sebastian Klos at zeroundersteer on a German stage.

The 136-horse Corsa-e looks like a riot to drive, its immediately on-power as it scoots out of each corner — something that a turbo-four envies as its ravaged by the usual assortment of techniques in anti-lag in order to build boost. We can presume that when combined with the typical low center of gravity gained from belly-mounted batteries and compact electric drivelines, this Corsa-e turns into an absolute go-kart as it tears through stages on a rally-spec suspension. Despite the delay until 2021 with the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, the Corsa-es will be delivered in October to teams with a dress rehearsal at Rally Sulingen in November with the ADAC Rallye Rund um die Sulinger Bärenklaue.

“We have adjusted the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup calendar again because many of the events planned for testing and competition this year could not take place,” said ADAC Motorsport Director Thomas Voss. “Our participants not only have to familiarize themselves with a new vehicle but also with a new technology and therefore need a solid preparation time. A regular season with eight events is planned between spring and autumn 2021”

It’s planted like a garden and rippin’ like a chainsaw through the stage, but the silence is the questionable aspect. Just take zeroundersteer‘s intro, for example, a clip of the iconic snap-crackle-and-pop of a small, turbocharged engine in anti-lag. For rally drivers, this nostalgia is in trade for the incredible performance potential and new ways of driving afforded by the incredible awareness of vehicle sounds now that the exhaust is no longer determining the noise floor. On the other hand, a huge component in rally racing is, of course, the thousands of fans lining the stages waiting for a visceral experience found in no other motorsport.

Rally racing is some of the most brutal and exciting racing in the world, despite the lack of door to door action, in part because each car is a superhero character, flying across the dirt in a myriad of colors, shapes, and sounds in ways never thought possible.

How about you? Would an all-EV rally change your commitment to a weekend in the woods? Or are you similarly excited for the potential in EV drivelines for rally racing, where they feel like a natural fit?

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