Rally Prep announces lightweight EV platform

New venture will offer type-approved architecture to low volume OEMs – and will build its own car, too

By Matt Bird / Thursday, January 28, 2021 / Loading comments

Anyone really into rallying will know Rally Prep; Neil Yates' company is best known for E30 M3 builds, and is the UK distributor for the Toyota GT86 CS-R3. Both good things to specialise in. Those of you with very long memories might even recall that the firm were on hand to build a pair of E30 rally cars that featured on PH. The company is small in stature, nestled away in a quiet bit of Cornwall, but its reputation is impressive.

So when Rally Prep says it's embarking on a EV project, you pay attention. Watt Electric Vehicle Company, the name given by Yates to the new endeavour, will build and market the EV architecture seen here, known as PACES. That stands for Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard, so we'll stick with the acronym.

The plan for PACES is simple: "to support the niche vehicle industry in the transition to electrification." A modular platform that's said to be scalable from rear-drive roadsters up to large commercial vehicles, PACES meets European Small Series Type Approval crash regs and complies with all ISO standards. The idea being that low-volume manufactures without the resources to develop bespoke electric architecture can buy the PACES platform and adapt it as they see fit. The development has seen input from Stalcom Automotive Technologies, Equipmake and Potenza Technology.

It's built from aluminium, and PACES can accommodate FWD, AWD and RWD layouts. The platforms flexibility comes from the use of extruded panels. Instead of using corner castings, as is often the case with EV skateboards, PACES' 'FlexTech' construction means panels can be interlocked and bonded together. Watt says this makes for chassis that are "low cost, extremely rigid and accurate, delivered to within 1mm of variability across the whole platform, requiring little upfront investment in expensive tooling or post-assembly machining, further cutting manufacturing cost." Which does sound like it could solve a few potential problems for niche makers wanting to build an electric vehicle.

To show what's possible, Watt will build its own coupe off the architecture in the very near future. Described as a sub-tonne, two-seat sports car inspired by the 1950s, the Watt two-door will have its electric motor out back, powered by a 40kWh battery and providing 230 miles of WLTP range. Even more encouragingly, the car will "focus on driver involvement, with near 50:50 weight distribution… and a communicative chassis exhibiting carefully-honed ride, handling and steering characteristics." Which, to give the Watt team their due, sounds like exactly the kind of thing that's needed in an EV market dominated by 1,500kg superminis and two-tonne SUVs.

With many years' work having gone into PACES, Watt Electric Vehicle Company says that the platform is now ready for market – and that more details will be forthcoming on the sports car in the next few weeks. Right now, everything sounds hunky-dory, as many a brave new venture does on paper. With the experience and expertise of Yates and the other companies involved, though – and the potential size of the market – there's cause for much optimism here. We'll be following with interest.


  • Honda e meets Porsche Taycan
  • The best electric cars to buy in 2021

xxxxxx xxxxxx

xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

Latest PH EV articles

Rally Prep announces lightweight EV platform

BMW talks up 'sporty DNA' for incoming i4

Ares reveals Tesla Model S Convertible

Rear-drive Porsche Taycan on sale in UK

Lotus and Alpine team up for EV sports car

Source: Read Full Article