Ken Block Wins First-Ever Electric Rallycross Race in 612-HP Ford Fiesta ERX
This thing zips.
Zero to 60 in just 1.8 seconds—let that sink in. Forget about what Tesla's Elon Musk claims about a car that doesn't exist. This blistering time is what 600-horsepower turbocharged WRX rallycross cars with anti-lag systems (ALS) have been chasing off the start line for years, and a feat the new electric variants should achieve more easily, such as the Ford Fiesta ERX.
The FIA’s new World Rallycross Project E race series may have hit a few bumps along the way, but with some of the models now ready and the first support race already held in Sweden, it's all looking bright for both REVelution powertrain developer STARD of Austria, and Ken Block with his Ford Fiesta ERX, who just won this breakthrough event at the famous Holjes rallycross circuit in front of two identical Fords.
Block's previous WRX car was a 600-hp Focus with a somewhat less complicated steering wheel. Based on a Fiesta ST chassis and packing a giant 450-kWh battery pack liquid-cooled by dry ice, the Fiesta ERX comes with more neutral balance but considerably more weight. As a result, braking is somewhat trickier.
Hooning the thing, however, should be easier, due to a peak torque output beyond 800 pound-feet, which is delivered instantly through a pair of independent two-speed gearboxes that operate as single-speeds in race mode.
The 52-year-old American has already driven the Extreme E electric off-roader in Saudi Arabia, as well as the seven-motor, 1,400-horsepower Ford Mustang Mach-E that weights up to 1,065-pounds more than the heaviest 2020 Mustang you can buy.
The much smaller Fiesta ERX is all about tight cornering, quick acceleration out of trouble, and massive slides across the gravel sections of the rallycross circuit. Its combined output of 612 horsepower comes courtesy of three motors, one at the front and two in the back. With a top speed of 150 mph and adjustable torque and brake bias, it's quite ready for a Gymkhana session already.
"It was a great weekend at one of the best racing facilities and rallycross tracks in the world," Block said on video after his race victory. "The Ford Fiesta ERX performed exceptionally well, the STARD team did a great job preparing the car and adjusting it over the weekend to fit my driving style."
"By the end, I had a setup that was comfortable for me, and I was able to race fairly quickly around this track. It was a lot of fun, there was a lot of competition and it’s been great for me to be at the forefront of this electric racing, and to be in the first race at this level in an electric car. Big thanks to STARD, to Ford and also to World Rallycross for putting on a great event," he added.
Is this the future of the highest level of rallycross racing? The FIA says yes.
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