Opel Ampera will debut at the 2012 Rally Monte Carlo

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 22, 2012

We have to admit that an electric rally car sounds a little bit weird, but Opel will provide six Ampera vehicles for the prestigious international Rally Monte Carlo. According to the German manufacturer, the Opel Amperas will make their debut in the “Alternative Energy” version of the rally, which commences in Annecy-le-Vieux, Clermont-Ferrand and Lugano today.

The rally will finish on March 25 in the capital of Monaco, Monte Carlo. In order to take part, competing vehicles must have a maximum of 115g/km CO2 emissions. Apparently, the aim of the rally is to cover a certain distance at a constant speed and use as little energy as possible.

Some 150 vehicles are expected to take part this year. For those who don’t know, the Opel Ampera is the system model of the Chevrolet Volt and it is not quite an electric car as it also uses a gasoline engine. The Ampera uses a 16 kWh lithium ion battery that powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor, and it can cover a distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers.

Still, the range depends on the style of driving and road conditions. All the wheels are powered always powered electrically and as expected, when the battery has reached its minimum state of charge the gasoline engine kicks off and acts just like a generator that supplies the electric drive unit.

The range extender enables an operating radius of 500 kilometers. Despite its low emissions, the Ampera is able to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in around 9 seconds and has a top speed of 161 km/h or 100 mph.

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