SEAT says its all-electric Cupra e-Racer will match the performance of its gasoline-powered variant when the E TCR series kicks off.
SEAT Sport Director Jaime Puig says the Spanish automaker is constantly working to improve the performance of its zero-emissions touring car which is currently in a rigorous development program.
The Cupra e-Racer was revealed earlier this year along with E TCR, an all-electric spin-off of the highly successful TCR platform.
Puig is hopeful that the e-Racer can match the one-lap pace of SEAT’s Cupra Leon TCR.
“In one lap, it could be the same,” he told e-racing365. “It depends on the track. The worst [part] is it is heavier so the speed in turns, and the best is its acceleration.
“When you take a racetrack like Rijeka, at the end of the straight we were much [faster] than with the petrol car.
“We are working on this balance. The performance could be the same.”
Development of the Cupra e-Racer got underway in June with a shakedown at Rijeka, Croatia, following the announcement that SEAT has formed a technical partnership with Rimac.
“The point [on which] we have to work more is what we know less, the battery, so that it doesn’t get too hot, in order to produce the maximum power,” Puig explained.
“Every month we are working on it.”
He says testing will be completed before the end of the year but a decision on where to use the car next year is yet to be finalized.
The E TCR championship is expected to get underway in 2020 after some initial demonstrations and events in 2019.
“It’s up to us to decide what to race or not to race in 2019,” Puig explained.
“The championship will start in 2020 and during 2019 it will be some [demonstrations] with our car. At the end of the year, hopefully there will be other cars that will be interested.
“We will do some action in 2019, some special shows. It could be a show, it could be a race if there is any possibility, but I doubt it will be a race against the other cars.”
While it is understood that other manufacturers are evaluating the platform, SEAT is currently the only brand to formally commit to it.