While the standardized machine hardware – namely the battery, motors and inverter – is currently locked down as part of cost control measures, the championship allows manufacturers to modify the design of their cars to better resemble the respective road car offers.
This allowed Cupra to redesign its e-Cupra challenger ABT XE1, used for the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021, to preview designs for future production SUVs. Namely the future Tavascan, which will become the manufacturer’s second all-electric vehicle.
The most notable changes to the standard car include new three-spoke light groups up front and a deeper rear shell redesign that now looks like a fast sloping back.
These body modifications also pave the way for Cupra to build the parts using 3D printing and the widespread use of flax fibers. The latter replaces carbon fiber components to increase the durability benchmarks of the construction without affecting performance.
This technology, which can be transferred to production car manufacturing, prints parts in six hours and eliminates bulky tooling to facilitate repairs or adjustments required by the limited on-site team at Extreme E events. .
Antonino Labate, Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operations at Cupra, said: “We strongly believe in the Extreme E project as a whole.
“Electrification, sustainability, gender parity and diversity are common values between CUPRA and Extreme E.
“The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E concept is clear proof of the hard work we are doing at CUPRA so that we can compete next season. “
Cupra, in partnership with the Abt racing team, became the first manufacturer to commit to Extreme E, but initial plans to change the appearance of its Odyssey 21 have been put on hold due to supplier delays caused by the global health crisis.
Xavi Serra, Head of Technical Development at Cupra Racing, added: “The Cupra Tavascan Extreme E Concept is the next evolution of our all-electric off-road racing car with even more CUPRA DNA and a design that hints at the future direction of the brand.
“But it also allows for technical advances.
“The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E concept uses flax fibers throughout the body to enhance durability and 3D printed elements that can be quickly recreated to keep the race car on the track. “
Cupra’s Extreme E driver duo, two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström and 2001 Dakar Rally winner Jutta Kleinschmidt, are currently sixth in points heading into the final two rounds of the championship’s first season.
Kleinschmidt said of the Tavascan concept: “[It] looks amazing and besides being fully electric it is now even more sustainable, using recyclable and organic materials such as flax fibers.
“I can’t wait to compete with this new version. “
Thomas Biermaier, CEO of Abt, added: “Almost exactly one year ago, we announced our partnership with CUPRA and presented the design of our e-CUPRA ABT XE1.
“Since then we’ve garnered a lot of attention together, on and off the track.
“The development of the own body by CUPRA designers and engineers is the next step in our close and fruitful collaboration.
“The Tavascan Extreme E Concept is simply beautiful, down to the last detail.
“Now it’s our job to take home the first trophies soon. “
An example of the Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid also travels to all Extreme E racing venues aboard the RMS St Helena, which is used to ship all cargo to each event.
Championship co-founder Alejandro Agag said: “I am delighted to see Cupra launch the Tavascan Extreme E concept as it allows them to become the second manufacturer to use their own bodywork for their Extreme E team.
“This move not only adds style and personality to the series, but also supports our goals for Extreme E to prove itself as a global marketing showcase for partners, as Cupra prepares to launch this model to consumers. consumers in the future.
“Congratulations to this very visionary and forward-looking team, the Cupra Tavascan Extreme E is a truly stunning design and I can’t wait to see it make its racing debut in Extreme E.”