Cupra, which is the performance arm of SEAT, is developing the striking e-Racer – a zero emission track car capable of 0-62mph in just 3.2 seconds.
To showcase the groundbreaking vehicle’s development, Swedish racing driver Mattias Ekström put the e-Racer through its paces at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona.
Gone is the deafening sound of a roaring petrol engine – with the e-Racer letting off a strange, whistle-like sound instead.
Despite a giant battery making it 400kg heavier than its petrol-powered touring car sibling, the e-Racer’s four electric motors ensure it is no slouch.
With the equivalent of 500 kW (670bhp), the e-Racer accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and from 0-124mph in 8.2 seconds. Top speed is 167mph.
The Cupra e-Racer is a response to a growing interest in electric motorsport – the fifth season of Formula E recently concluded while the electric touring car championship set to start next year.
Mattias Ekström, who is a three-time Race of Champions winner, said: “After a career dedicated to the racing world where I had explored all combustion engine formats I wanted to transition to electric racing with Cupra, which has been a pathfinder in this segment since its creation.
“I think the biggest challenge is getting used to driving with no gearbox and without the roar of the engine as a reference for knowing, for example, how fast to go when taking curves.
“It felt really good, especially when reaching full power coming out of the slow curves on the circuit.
“I really enjoyed the first lap. The second also went well, although I began to notice that I was forcing the rear tyres.
“I still need some time to get used to the sound of the engine. It’s much quieter than any other I’ve driven before, and I’m a very emotional driver.”
Ekström is working closely with the team of engineers and technicians to fine tune the e-Racer ahead of the launch of the new Electric Touring Car Series which starts next year.