The New Zealand designed and built Hyundai Kona EV rally car project commenced in 2018 with the design process. Throughout 2019 the final design was put in place before construction began on this all-new car – everything on and in the car was designed with a fresh perspective and vision. The car was much more than just a new powertrain and battery. The team thought BIG!
Paddon Rallysport revealed the completed, fully functional Hyundai Kona EV rally car to the world in November 2020, showing what this passionate, dedicated, privately-owned team is capable of achieving. and take their Kiwi built project to the world to showcase the advancements of new technology.
Following months of testing and development, the Hyundai Kona EV rally car made its competition debut in the South Island town of Waimate with Hayden at the wheel. With flawless precision, Hayden piloted the Kona EV to victory on debut, winning the 4km hillclimb with his best time of one minute, 58.38 seconds.
New team base acquired and setup at the spectacular Highlands Motorsport Park with direct access to international race circuit. Perfect testing and development facilities.
Soon after 6 young engineers and technicians join the team including Matt, Rory, Ben, Jack, Mike and Vanessa. The basis was now in place to push forward on the EV concept that had spent the last 12 months on planning.
At a worldwide media event streamed around the world, we share our vision and project to the motorsport community.
While the design phase was well under way at this point, the physical build had yet to start. Making sure all the boxes were ticked, we analysed the perfect chassis and geometry using data from existing cars and simulation data utilizing the whole new weight distribution of the car given the extra weight of the battery's. At this time we also took delivery of a brand new Hyundai Kona to be used as a donor car.
After 8 months of design and simulation, the chassis and geometry design was complete. This meant that the chassis build could start with confidence.
Design continues working alongside STARD on the systems and drive-line of the car and the all important battery pack. The first prototype battery will be a smaller pack to allow us to simulate power use once the car is up and running to incorporate the full size rally battery during 2020.
Our technicians Mike and Ben got to work on preparing the body shell which will include over 500 hours of work over the coming months.
After stripping the brand new car to a bare shell, work then began on lightening the shell as much as possible to compensate for the extra weight of the battery's. They after making the Jig, strut towers and suspension points are inserted before work begins on a whole new floor and battery mounting to allow for quick battery changes.