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New Electric Off-Road Racing Series Will Take Drivers To The Ends Of The Earth

Odyssey 21

Extreme E is the electrifying rally race that will help save the planet.

Formula E has been around for four years now and it continues to expand its audience. The current season began late last year with the addition of a power-up system straight out of a video game, and now the founder of Formula E is taking that same level of ingenuity and applying it to rally racing.

Called “Extreme E,” the new racing series will take drivers to remote locations to race off-road in environments damaged by human activity. The idea is to not only produce an exciting racing series in a format never before seen but to also drive attention to climate change and pollution.

Formula E founder Alejandro Agag unveiled the vehicle that will star in Extreme E at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Called the Odyssey 21, it's a prototype built by French EV manufacturer Spark and designed to race at high speeds in truly treacherous terrain.

Odyssey 21
via Extreme E

We're not sure how many electric motors are found within the Odyssey 21, but combined they made 550 horsepower. Each corner is adorned with the largest tire ever to grace a four-wheel-drive race vehicle along with tower struts for tons of suspension travel.

Zero to 62 mph is said to take just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 124 mph, which doesn't sound great to on-road cars, but off-road it's a phenomenal speed. All-electric range is 124 miles when not racing, so we expect the range to be significantly less when the Odyssey is in race mode.

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If the car seems bonkers, the rest of the racing series seems absolutely ludicrous. Racing teams will be taken to 5 remote locations by a specially converted ex-Royal Mail Ship--the RMS St. Helena--which is currently being retrofitted to both reduce emissions and accommodate a garage hub for the Extreme E series.

Odyssey 21
via Extreme E

The locations haven't been disclosed, but we know they will include a desert, jungle, high altitude, coastal, and polar locale.

According to Agag, 25 teams have already signed letters of intent to join the racing series once it begins in 2021. Manufacturers will be allowed to use their own powertrains and body styles to more closely mirror their road-going SUVs.

(via Reuters)

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