Organisers of the Rally New Zealand Battle of Jacks Ridge on November 15 have confirmed that Hayden Paddon’s newly unveiled Hyundai Kona EV rally car is set to take on the event.
It’s set to be a hugely busy weekend for the former World Rally Championship regular. He’s set to take part in the City of Auckland Rally in his Hyundai i20 AP4+ in its conventional spec, as run in the New Zealand Rally Championship, before completing comprehensive changes overnight.
By the morning of the Battle of Jacks Ridge, Paddon’s car is set to have been converted to its full hill-climb specification as seen at events like the Ashley Forest RallySprint. He will then use the more aero-focused i20 to challenge for outright honours around the Jacks Ridge facility.
The new Paddon RallySport Group–built Kona EV, meanwhile, will be used for demonstration runs — giving fans the opportunity to hear its alternate powertrain sound and experience its instantaneous electric torque in person.
As previously reported, the Kona features four electric motors capable of 220kW each. In its rallying spec, it’s set to produce just over 400kW of power — although Paddon says it’s capable of over 800kW and 1100Nm of torque.
To manage heat the Kona comes equipped with a custom cooling system, while power is managed via a MoTec M1 system with PDU interface. Front and rear torque vectoring, Pirelli rubber (15-inch Evo Corse with gravel tyres or 18-inch Evo Corse wheels with tarmac tyres), and a bespoke MacPherson strut system with five-way adjustable dampers helps connect the power to the road. Despite its batteries, the Kona weighs approximately 1500kg.
“The car is faster on paper than an ICE car, has better weight distribution and is more reliable as there are fewer moving parts and the potential with the technology, electronics and design of the car is endless” said Paddon.
“The EV package is capable of over 800kW, but we have focused on building this car to have comparable power to a current ICE rally car and aim for it to be winning rallies against normal ICE competition from 2022. A lot of work needs to happen between now and then, and we are confident that EV technology is going to work in a normal rally environment.”