Paddon Rallysport Group is looking to top Group B for all-out power in a rally car with its latest creation. Meet the Hyundai Kona NZEVRC1, with near-on 1,100PS (800kW) of all-electric power.
The project has taken 18 months and 10,000 hours to get to this point for the New Zealand team, with around 80 per cent of the car’s build coming from local suppliers. Haydon Paddon has big plans for his silent stage carver, saying he wants it “to be winning rallies against normal ICE competition from 2022”.
It’ll be taking to New Zealand’s rally championship battling the antilagging, boosting, spooling, fire-spitting machinery we’re used to. Should we be worried about how the Kona will match up as a piece of theatre, to traditional petrol-powered rally cars? Not according to Paddon. For safety reasons as well as for our fun as spectators, it’ll have a distinctive sound at high volume, which is yet to be finalised.
Okay, while it’s capable of over 1,100PS, it doesn’t necessarily put that out all the time. Instead, it’s set up to match the current petrol-powered outputs of its competition on the day-to-day, for around 5-600PS. “The EV package is capable of over 800kW but we have focused on building this car to have comparable power to a current internal combustion rally car,” he says.
Next on the to-do list for the 1,400kg Kona is testing and lots of it. Long stages, endurance testing and refining the tech are essential before it turns a wheel in competition. The challenges are quite unlike Formula E and other such e-powered motorsports.
Rallying as Paddon describes it, “delivers very different and demanding challenges such as day-long events across multiple timed rally stages, competing in remote locations, and limited time for vehicle servicing during competition”.
Of course, we’ve already had a taste of what electric-powered rally cars can be like. A Ford Fiesta ERX took part in the Driftkhana event at SpeedWeek presented by Mastercard, alongside 1,000PS drift cars and traditional rally weapons. Maybe the Paddon’s Hyundai should come along to back it up one day?