Formula E driver Nicolas Prost will debut the Andros Trophy ice racing series' new four-wheel drive electric car that is set to form the headline class for the 2020 season, this weekend.
Series promoters 2MO revealed the ANDROS Sport 01 prototype at Serre Chevalier last week, where several of the category's frontrunning drivers sampled the car.
Prost will give the car its debut at Lans en Vercors against ICE cars in the Elite Pro category.
The Exagon Engineering-built spaceframe-chassis car has been developed to compete directly with existing four-wheel drive Elite Pro machines, that have mid-mounted V6 engines producing 360 horsepower.
The four-wheel drive electric prototype, which like its conventional counterparts has four-wheel steering, produces the equivalent of 350 horsepower with 1600 Nm torque, using a pair of motors.
"This prototype offers incredible sensations, I am really impressed by the strength of the torque from the electric motor,” said Prost, who is a two-time Andros Trophy electric support-category champion.
“The potential of this car is enormous, the power of the acceleration when it starts is comparable to the combustion cars in third or fourth gear.
"I was able to go into the corners with a lot of speed and I can already say that it will, without doubt, compete [with the ICE cars] and will exceed them very quickly.”
With support from the French motorsport federation (FFSA), Andros Trophy organisers plan to run electric and ICE machines together next winter, as revealed by Motorsport.com last year.
They hope that each of the existing teams will run at least one electric Elite Pro car, before the category becomes fully electric the following season.
“Developed by Exagon engineers and former Formula 1 driver Franck Lagorce, particularly fine tuning has occurred to get a good power-to-weight ratio compared to the combustion cars, making us a real laboratory for manufacturers of electric vehicles,” said Andros Trophy founder Max Mamers.
“With our electric class and now Formula E in full swing, we see a new generation of drivers very involved in this technological innovation, concerned for the future of the planet."
Trophy Andros is believed to have formed the world’s first fully-electric racing series ‘Trophee Andros Electrique’ in 2010, for single-make cars with 90Kw motors (122 horsepower, 200 NM torque) powering the rear wheels in the support category. Oreca LMP2 racer Matthieu Vaxiviere won the electric title in 2016.