A As the organizer of a regularity and reliability rally you have to reinvent yourself year after year. The motto is not “as soon as possible”, but “as punctually as possible”. The battle for hundredths of a second in such rallies is not decided by power, torque and pressure on the right pedal. Rather, it is the special stages and punctuality that basically enable every participating vehicle to win.
The i-Mobility Rally is the electric brother of the three Classic Rallies (Paul Pietsch, Silvretta Montafon, Saxony) run by auto motor and sport exactly this goal: All target times are known and easily feasible, the special stages decide whether to win or continue. No wonder that the quality of these tests, along with the landscape, is decisive for the fun of the participants.
Hyundai Nexo as a premiere, IONIQ in the E version
The first vehicle was a premiere: the fuel cell SUV Hyundai Nexo covered the first official kilometers on European asphalt. The team from Hyundai Germany had to go for this The occasion put all the levers in motion so that the Nexo, which will be available from retailers from summer 2018should already be able to do the Swabian round at i-Mobility. For this article, Tom Hölzner and the author traveled for the Hyundai team in an IONIQ Elektro. auto motor und sport already tested the IONIQ and attested it good driving dynamics and range suitable for everyday use. The 120 km long route should show what it's made of.
The range of participating vehicles at the third i-Mobility rally was colorful: In addition to several Tesla, BMW i3 and i8, Porsche hybrid vehicles and electric Mercedes B-Class attracted mainly models from Opel, Kia, Nissan, Hyundai and Toyota. Honda competed with a fuel cell, Volkswagen sent the tried-and-tested Golf in e and GTE versions onto the track, some exotic vehicles such as Citroën E-Méhari, Fisker Karma and an electrified 2CV supplemented the alternative rally fleet.
Muscle power for printer juice
Back to the serious side of life: Before volts and amps made propulsion possible from the drive batteries, the sweaty first special stage “Urgent printed matter” was on the agenda. The team around rally organization manager Laura Hauschild paid attention to the physical fitness of the participants. After the legendary muscle power orange juice press from 2016, the driver or front passenger now had to generate electricity for a printer, which in turn spat out the boarding pass for the team. The faster the printed product was in the output shaft, the fewer penalty points there were. The company Epson provided both a bicycle and a printer.
At the start, the second challenge: The co-driver presses a red buzzer à la Stefan Raab Show on the start arch, sprints into the car, buckles up, the driver then drives to the arch and also pushes the red button. The shortest time wins here too. Our team finished in 9th place with 10.90 seconds, the dangling around the open door apparently cost valuable time. Interesting: upThe first three places went to BMW i8, Volkswagen XL 1 and Kyburz eRod, all vehicles with gull-wing doors or no doors at all. If you are on the run more often and in style, we definitely recommend a gullwing.
The road book: simple and yet so difficult
After we were finally on the track and parallel to the runway of Stuttgart airport slid eastwards, the next challenge came faster than expected. The road book shows the route in the form of so-called Chinese characters with brief instructions. At the second traffic light it should go left. But what was the second traffic light? Did we count correctly? A 180-degree turn followed by a 180-degree turn was the result. Victory was still within reach.
Speaking of range: Our IONIQ promised us 204 km range on the descent with a 98% full battery.
Gradient on the partner search
During the journey, small tasks were built into the road book, including noting down the gradient in various sections of the route. After we missed a descent, the obligatory 180-degree turn came, followed by a 90-degree swerve to the left, which led to the parking lot, the location of the next special stage.
Have you been before in the Berlin GDR Museum? There you can feel objects if you reach into a darkly clad hole. In the “partner search” test, we went a step further: Numerous screws and nuts were distributed in an opaque box and had to be coupled together in the shortest possible time. Another requirement was that the least weight counted in the end. The team from ADAC Württemberg won here with 4 pairs and 355 grams. No wonder, they deal with it every day. On the other hand, we ended up with 2 pairs in the last field, but at least we had fished big things (290 grams) from the metal collection.
After the lunch break on Schloss Filseck it went further rapidly: The test' Nix wie weg 'let the driver both pedals one after the other to the floor panto press. First maximum acceleration, then emergency braking in front of the marking line. The two Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid did the best, followed closely by a Tesla Model S.
As the E-rally continued you could see enough of the landscape around Göppingen and Esslingen. From alley-like country roads to unpaved paths through woods and fields, everything was offered. The transit checks, during which the teams had to answer questions about e-mobility, were also varied: the charging time of an e-Golf at a domestic socket? In which EU /EFTA country were the most electric cars registered in 2017? What funding is the federal government currently offering for e and fuel cell cars and hybrid vehicles?
The last special stage took place in the fair trade community Köngen . Numerous questions revolved around sustainability and the history of the municipality in the Esslingen district, which can look back on Roman roots. Then all participants went back to the Stuttgart Exhibition Center. After crossing the finish line, a guided tour was offered at i-Mobility, the trade fair for sustainable mobility. At the award ceremony that followed, Clemens Winter and Thomas Bellgardt were crowned winners in the Tesla X90D. Second place went to Wolfgang Schulz and Bernd Spatscheck in the Mitsubishi Outlander, while Paul-Janosch Ersing and Dr. Bernd-Wilfried Kießler in the Citroën E-Méhari.
For us it was 26th place with the Hyundai IONIQ. The last comment from driver Hölzner: 'We'll win next year!'
All results are available on our Eventportal , more photos on Facebook.