This electric rally car wins hearts, minds and hill climbs
From Mill Road to White Horse Monument, Waimate 50 Hillclimb’s new location has cars ripping Parkers Bush Road just outside of Waimate, New Zealand for three days of competition. While the hill climb usually takes place on the cobbled streets of the city, the organizers have decided to make some changesnearly closed for COVID reasons last year. Switching to a tar and gravel combo, hill climbing returned this year. And like America’s most famous hill climb, the Waimate 50 was absolutely dominated by a machine powered exclusively by electrons.
Former WRC rally winner and former Hyundai factory team driver Hayden Paddon has been busy in New Zealand build and drive this Kona EV rally car. The guy was sort of still on the cusp of success in the WRC, but never found enough to stay in the series, but that’s clearly doesn’t mean he’s not a super talented driver, and wins like this continue to prove it. From the start, everyone in Waimate knew the electric machine would be the best. Even on gravel, the explosive power of the car shone.
While most electric hillclimbing vehicles must have audible machines installed to warn spectators that they are not only on the course, but that they are speeding. on you in a quick fashion, this Hyundai makes enough of its own noise from electric transmissions to forgo such a device. It’s crazy enough to hear that thing rip, but if you can hear that and say electric cars don’t offer one its motorsport dynamics, you are just looking for excuses not to like them at this point.
In the middle of a hill race, this car produces over 700 horsepower, which is apparently enough to get around the heavy weight of this car (at least 3300 pounds, but exact numbers are not provided). Clearly, with four-wheel drive and instant electric torque, the car was able to get out of corners without even a stutter, and the high-power boost package that Paddon and his team outfitted it worked a charm.
Hoping that more teams will follow in Paddon’s footsteps, building high power electricity hill climb monsters. It really does feel like electric vehicles have moved into the break-in phase that gasoline engines went through in the 1950s. All over the world people are figuring out how to make them go blazingly fast, and this is the rule!