Cupra is marking its independence as a new brand under Spanish carmaker Seat with the introduction of the new Cupra e-Racer. Riding on strong sales in 2017, Seat is hoping to ride on the momentum by presenting the new Cupra e-Racer and a number of new creations at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.
Touted by the carmaker as the first 100-percent electric racing touring car in the world, the new Cupra e-Racer will be one of the main attractions at the Cupra booth during the show. With the ability to deliver 300 kW (402 hp) of continuous power output, peaking at around 500 kW (679 hp), the new Cupra e-Racer could be considered as a true motorsport car.
A small sneak preview was provided by Luca de Meo, president of Seat, for the new Cupra e-Racer and other new vehicles during a web videoconference just prior to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The preview was brief and void of many details, but it was good enough to spice up the thrill before the Spanish carmaker officially reveals the new Cupra e-Racer in Geneva in the coming days.
At first look, one might mistake the new Cupra e-Racer from the Leon TCR touring car. After all, the Cupra e-Racer is racing touring car derived from the Leon TCR. However, a closer inspection would reveal a number of differences, owing to the fact that while the Leon TCR is powered by a conventional combustion engine, the Cupra e-Racer is a pure electric car in nature. After doing what they could for the Leon TCR, people at Seat Sport have decided to go all-electric. This explains the similar appearance of the Leon TCR and the Cupra e-Racer.
Although similar in appearance, the Cupra e-Racer and the Leon TCR are dramatically different inside. While the conventionally powered Leon TCR is a front-wheel drive unit with 350 hp in tow, the electrically operated Cupra e-Racer is nearly twice more powerful with the power sent to all four wheels. Its electric nature – four electric motors at use -- also means the Cupra e-Racer offers instant torque, while the base Leon TCR needs to build up torque at certain engine speeds. These differences make the Cupra e-Racer drive differently from the base model.
The electrical setup of high-powered electric cars makes them usually heavier than their conventional counterparts. The same is true with the new Cupra e-Racer electric racing touring car. In fact, it is more than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) heavier than a standard Leon TCR. While the front/rear weight distribution of the Leon TCR is at 60:40, that of the Cupra e-Racer is 60 percent biased to the rear (40:60).
Interestingly, the new Cupra e-Racer offers energy regeneration. This means that under braking, some of the energy are recovered and stored at the car’s 65-kWh battery pack. In addition, the driver could choose the amount of energy recuperated under braking, which affects the braking balance. Most of the front suspension system in standard Leon TCR is adopted by the Cupra e-Racer, but the rear system was changed from a rear multi-link setup to a double wishbone.