Mpart reveals development of electric rally car
Mpart AB, the Swedish manufacturer of the R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage, has revealed it has been developing an all-electric version of its Swedish-built rally car since 2015 called the Mirage R5e.
Tomas Weng, Mpart’s company director and the designer of the R5 specification model has an extensive background in electro-mechanical engineering and has confirmed that he drew-up plans for an all-electric rally – and Rallycross – version of the car more than two years ago.
“At the time we were designing the rally version of the Mirage I always had it in mind that we would produce an electric version of the car, which we refer to as the R5e. It was clear to see the direction in which the motor industry was going, so it made complete sense to create a car that could be powered by a variety of different sources: petrol, PHEV and EV-only,” he said.
“One of the biggest challenges is not the construction, but the way the batteries are charged and the range that can be achieved. Even so, constructors have to start somewhere and it’s important that this technology is developed so that we can push forward with alternative fuels and power plants.”
Weng did not reveal too many technical details about the new rally car, but hinted that the Mirage R5e would feature two motors: one in the front and one in the rear that combined, would produce 250kw/600Nm of power transferred via mechanical differentials.
“Much of the technology is already available. Therefore it’s a fairly straightforward conversion and, if everything comes together, we could have a prototype ready as early as September”, Weng added.
“I believe that the day we see a class for 100% EV rally cars, or even an event with an entire field of electric vehicles, is not too far away. I realise that rally purists might not like what’s happening, but we have no choice but to embrace technology if we want our motorsport – and businesses – to survive.”