Meet the Odyssey 21, an all-electric off-road truck designed for a new all-terrain racing series called Extreme E. It was unveiled last year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but it apparently needed a famous rally driver behind the wheel to really get it noticed – so now Ken Block has driven it in the last stage of the Dakar rally and this has certainly attracted plenty of attention.
As you may know, the Dakar rally isn’t a race from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal any more (not since 2007) and this year it was held in Saudi Arabia. There, the Odyssey 21 fared very well, according to Block, who was impressed by how easily the vehicle can be placed and just how well it accelerates – he reports it to be his first electric racing car experience and says he really enjoyed it.
The vehicle itself weighs 1,650 kg, it has all-wheel drive and a total output of 400 kW (550 horsepower). These figures enable it to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds; its top speed isn’t specified.
The Extreme E racing series is set to kick off in January, 2021 and it was created by the same people who thought up Formula E. So far, stages have been planned in Brazil, Greenland, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and Nepal. The Odyssey 21 is just an example of the kind of vehicle eligible to enter, but teams will be allowed to develop their own powertrain and other components.