Cupra joins Extreme E race series as Abt Sportsline partner

Cupra, Seat’s performance brand offshoot, has become the main partner of one of the biggest teams of the newly established Extreme E racing series.

Signing as the main partner for the Abt Sportsline team, Cupra becomes the first car manufacturer to establish itself in the one-make electric off-road racing series.

The team will also soon reveal its Cupra-branded version of the Odyssey21 off-road racing car all teams will use in the championship. Built by French firm Spark Racing Technology, it’s a bespoke 1650kg, four-wheel-drive vehicle with long-travel suspension and a 536bhp mid-mounted electric motor. It can hit 0-62mph in 4.5sec. Teams will be able to use their own bespoke bodywork design.

The joint participation for Cupra “represents the brand’s challenger attitude in the racing world and its ambition to explore new motorsport experiences”, claims CEO Wayne Griffiths.

Abt has also signed former DTM and World Rallycross champion Mattias Ekström as its male driver for the series. All teams must field both male and female drivers to compete, with Abt’s female driver being announced at a later date.

Created by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, Extreme E has been developed to highlight environmental issues and will stage a series of ‘X Prix’ events in five remote, environmentally damaged locations.

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton recently signed up as team manager for the X44 team, named after his F1 car number.