Launching an Electric Odyssey with Extreme E

A new motorsport format has been announced for 2021, and it’s set to take the racing world by storm.

Extreme E certainly knows how to make a statement. Even before the official launch earlier this week, former teammates and world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg announced they would be continuing their famous rivalry in the all-new all-electric rally format. Both drivers will be entering teams in the format, and they aren’t the only familiar faces involved.

The global off-road race series has FIA status but is as far removed from traditional motorsports as you could possibly imagine. Climate change and environmental awareness are core principles behind Extreme E, with male and female drivers both able to compete directly against one another in another first.

The championship was supposed to launch in January 2021, but with the impact of Covid-19 still being felt the new confirmed date for the first race is on 21 March. The final list of mouthwatering race locations have also been announced, with the line-up seeing teams and drivers head off to some of the most remote locations in the world.

The first race will be held in the Saudi deserts with the next event moving to Senegal. As with all races in the season, the “paddock” will be moving from location to location on a repurposed ship which will transport cars and teams. This is with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of the championship and comes with an additional benefit. Scientists from around the world have been invited to join the journey and conduct research on board the vessel.

 

The line-up of races is as follows:

 

March 20-21, 2021: Desert X Prix Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

May 29-30, 2021: Ocean X Prix — Lac Rose, Senegal

August 28-29, 2021: Arctic X Prix — Kangerlussusaq, Greenland

October 23-24, 2021: Amazon X Prix — Para, Brazil

December 11-12, 2021: Glacier X Prix — Patagonia, Argentina

 

The locations haven’t just been chosen for the spectacular landscapes and backdrops they provide, although there is no doubt that Extreme E has the potential to be the most visually pleasing sports event ever.

Each race will highlight different environmental and social concerns. Hamilton has spoken about how he is pleased with the decision that each of the teams entering Extreme E must be made up of one male and one female driver.

The other star of the launch was the car itself. Each team will be racing the same vehicle chassis, with the SUV type vehicle proving just how powerful electric cars can be.

Extreme E’s revolutionary battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide ODYSSEY 21 E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. It’s unlike anything else out there.

There are a number of events scheduled in the run up to the first race that will reveal more about the mechanics of the sport. We’ll be on hand with more in-depth guides ahead of the Desert X Prix in March.

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