Manufacturers have been trying to make their racers more economical for some time now; Audi and Peugeot have produced diesel Le Mans winners and CAR reviewed the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid in the June 2010 issue, but this the most recent fully electric offering from Norwegian company Think.
Is the Think City EV Cup Edition really a hardcore stripped-out racer?
Think has followed the traditional road-racer conversion for this one-off prototype, by stripping out most of the interior and space for the passenger, using Perspex instead of glass in the windows, installing a solitary lightweight bucket seat and lowering the centre of gravity.
The company claims the diet reduces the Think's weight by nearly 70kg; that's the same saving as a Lamborghini Gallardo Superlegerra, remember.
Racing through a Congestion Charge zone near me soon then...
Think insists this is merely a working prototype and that bigger, more powerful batteries are still in development for next year's actual 2011 race car.
This prototype uses lithium ion batteries capable of reaching 'highway' speeds and making it crack 31 mph in a not insignificant 3.5 seconds. Think claims a range of a tad under 100 miles before it runs out of juice; not quite a Le Mans competitor yet then...
Electric city cars are often dismissed owing to their toytown dimensions, but Think believes this concept points the way towards a zero-emission racing future.
The technology and the intent is there, but if this is the future of racing, the sound of screaming engines and smell of burning petrol will be sorely missed.