Opel Ampera Sets Out To Shock The Rally World Photo:
Mike Stevens | Mar, 20 2012 | 0 Comments

GM is gearing up to tackle the 2012 Rally Monte Carlo with an unlikely contender: the Opel Ampera, sold in the US as the Chevrolet Volt and coming to Australia as the Holden Volt.

The Ampera, an extended-range electric vehicle, will do battle in a special Alternative Energy version of the rally ("Energie Nouvelle"), not to be confused with the WRC round of the championship held in January.

The route takes the cars from Clermont-Ferrand, once home to a swooping road circuit that hosted the French Grand Prix in the sixties and seventies, through a series of stages in southern France.

The rally concludes in the Monaco principality after three days of competition.

“Spectators will have the chance to see our electric cars in action under the challenging conditions the rally has to offer,” Enno Fuchs, Opel’s Director of E-Mobility said.

The last two alternative-energy Rallies Monte Carlo were won by the Tesla Roadster. The event is more like a Targa event, where competitors are given target times and resource limits.

While the Targa Tasmania limits tyre usage, the Rally Monte Carlo Energie Nouvelle limits CO2 output, which is set at a maximum of 115g/km.

Average speed and low energy use is the target and the winner is the vehicle that best matches the targets.

Recently winning 2012 Car of the Year in Europe, the Ampera/Volt is driven by an electric motor boasting 110kW and a diesel-like 370Nm of torque.

The motor is partnered with a small petrol engine that acts as a generator to charge the batteries.

The Rally Monte Carlo runs from 22nd to 25th March.

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