This year’s Rallye Weiz in Austria was special — not only because an all-electric car participated for the first time but also grabbed third place. It was the Skoda RE-X1 Kreisel, an experimental prototype built in collaboration with Kreisel Electric. Yes, it’s the same company that converted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hummer H1 into an EV.
The RE-X1 Kreisel is based on the Fabia Rally2 evo rally car, with its floor modified to integrate a 52.5 kWh battery pack. There are two electric motors, one at the front and the other at the rear, producing a combined 260 kW (353.5 metric hp) and 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) of torque. Those numbers are significantly higher compared to the aforementioned donor car but are in fact limited to comply with Rally2 norms. The car’s weight has gone up by 100 kg (220.5 lbs) to 1,330 kg (2,932 lbs); the battery pack alone weighs 330 kg (727.5 lbs).
The RE-X1 Kreisel was piloted by Raimund Baumschlager and Jürgen Heigl. “I had to change my driving style a little bit because the car is about 100 kilograms heavier than the classic Fabia Rally2 evo. There’s also no clutch or gearbox, so it’s a completely different way of judging speed when cornering. Otherwise, though, the RE-X1’s handling is getting closer and closer to a petrol-engined Rally2,” commented Baumschlager.
The main changes inside are a different steering wheel and the absence of a sequential shifter; the latter has been replaced with paddles to adjust the recuperation level.
The RE-X1 Kreisel has the same shock absorbers, wheel hubs, suspension and brakes as the donor car, however, these components had to be tweaked to compensate for the additional weight. The experienced Baumschlager Rallye & Racing (BRR) team helped with the final chassis modifications, Skoda said. Also, specially designed CHIMERO mobile charging stations were able to juice up the rally car to 80% in about 15 minutes.