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Opel has announced it’s conducting durability tests for its Corsa e-Rally, the first-ever battery-electric rally car. Two development vehicles are undergoing durability testing at the Dudenhofen Test Centre in Germany.

Their 50kWh energy storage capacity enables a range of 209 miles.

Opel Motorsport Director, Jörg Schrott, says: “Both cars are covering as many miles as possible, in order to gather the maximum amount of data at an early stage. There is no experience of an electric rally car that we could turn to, so initially we had to rely on calculations and simulations. These are being gradually replaced with real data. Other focuses are on loads and temperature management of the battery, as well as adapting the software. I am pleased to report that our programme is going smoothly.”

He adds: “The centre of gravity is low, thanks to the underfloor-mounted battery, and the weight distribution is also very good, which is extremely important for an agile competition car. Now we need to find the most balanced chassis setup, so in January we will start simulating some real rally stages.”

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Opel says around 20 examples are expected to be built for the 2020/21 season, up to 15 will be delivered to its customers in the summer – in time for a test event in July.

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