GMC announced that it’ll sponsor an entry in the 2021 Extreme E global championship, an all-electric off-road rally, with Chip Ganassi Racing. The racer will wear bodywork that loosely resembles the 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV, but the vehicle is actually a spec racer called the Spark Odyssey 21.
Like many race series, Extreme E will use spec cars. These are bespoke units built by Spark and are provided to all teams. The teams, such as Chip Ganassi Racing, will be able to customize the appearance to match sponsors or the like, but the mechanical package is fairly standardized. Each Odyssey 21 utilizes a steel tube frame with an integral roll cage and is powered by a 550-hp electric motor. All batteries are produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, according to Spark. The company claims a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
The question of the racer’s driving range is murky at best, but the planned Extreme E stages give a sense that racing will be in sprints rather than the more typical marathon. The organizer says each race is set to take place in two laps over a distance of about 10 miles. So, short, violent bursts of dirt-slinging excitement rather than a cross-country adventure, which is probably about the best EVs can do in such a demanding racing environment until significant advances are made in battery energy density and weight.
The GMC/Chip Ganassi Racing drivers will be Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price. The first race is in Saudi Arabia in early April 2021.
And while it’ll certainly be exciting to see a “Hummer” compete in rally competition, the upcoming 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV is going to be an event unto itself. With 1,000 hp on tap, the production electric SUV expected to hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds.
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