Extreme E star Catie Munnings says Odyssey off-road car is almost ‘spot on’
Extreme E: Mattias Ekström tours the ODYSSEY 21 eSUV
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She said the new vehicle feels like a “robust race car” and was impressed by the car’s handling and suspension. The car is making its competitive debut at this weekend’s Extreme E series opener in Alula, Saudi Arabia in the new electric off-road rally series.
Speaking to Express.co.uk Andretti United driver Ms Munnings said: “It definitely feels like a WRC car. It doesn’t feel like a road-going car, it’s definitely built like a race car.
“Take away the side that’s electric, me and Timmy [Hansen] both jumped in it and said this is a performance car.
“It’s developed to be a proper robust race car. The drivability on it, the handling, the balance is spot on. It really feels great.
“It’s got an amazing suspension as well which is just awesome. At first we are going to need it I think in the locations we are travelling to.
“You can be lazy with it, there’s no gears anymore so you’re just turning up and it’s like driving an automatic race car.
“It’s just adjusting, you don’t have the engine sound and you also normally when you lock the wheels the first thing you hear is the knocking sound in your head.
“Now it’s just learning to drive through your seat a bit more and adapt your sensitivity and feeling.”
The car is made up of a common package of standardised parts while the battery is provided by Williams Engineering.
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The fully-electric 400kW battery produced 550bhp and is capable of 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The model is also capable of climbing gradients of up to 130 percent and is designed to tackle any terrain.
According to Extreme E, the high-spec model was produced by Spark Racing Technology in less than two months.
The series is put together by Alejandro Agag, the mastermind behind the successful Formula E championship which has encouraged manufacturers such as Jaguar and Porsche in recent years.
Ms Munnings feels Extreme E can match the success of its predecessor and says the championship has the potential to change perceptions of electric vehicles as manufacturers look desperately to make the switch.
She told Express.co.uk: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first person to say I’ve been a petrolhead and I am a petrolhead.
“I grew up watching rally cars going through forests feeling the ground rumble. That’s how I fell in love with the sport.
“I think it’s just about change. Motorsport exists because manufacturers use it as marketing to sell cars, that’s why we do what we do at the end of the day.
“When you think manufacturers have end dates on when they are going to finish the production of combustion and be fully electric it says where the sport will go.
“If there are no more combustion engines on the road there will be none in motorsport because it doesn’t make sense to have championships that cost millions running in this day and age.”
She added: “The next generation are going to get just as excited. It’s even got the potential to be faster because there is so much torque in these electric cars. There’s so much instant power.
“The technology is there and it’s just the potential at the minute, It can only get better.”
To find out more about Catie Munnings, head to her Red Bull athlete profile page: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/athlete/catie-munnings
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