The Spice-X SX1 Is A Cheap And A Practical Electric Race Car For Every Pocket
Less Powerful Than An Entry Level Yaris, But You’ll Like It Neverthelessby Safet Satara, on
Racing is expensive. No matter what you are trying to race, the sheer price of a racing car, admission fees, safety protocols, and testing usually makes racing a nonsense that only a handful can pull off. Yet, regardless of this, the world is drizzled with racing cars - not many of which can be considered affordable and competitive at the same time. That is where the new company from Piedmont, Italy comes into play. It is called Spice-X, a collaborative effort by a number of smaller car companies in the Piedmont region who proposed a whole new version of a racing car - an affordable electric racer called the Spice-X SX1.
What Is The Spice-X SX1?
The result is this quite sinister looking machine that actually measures 150.6 inches in length and 66.7 inches in width.
Although information about the car is still rather sparse, the Spice-X SX1 seems to be a proposition for a whole new racing series created around this very car. Yes, it is electric, and that is the whole point. We are all moving in that direction, so why not go to the extremes with the price as well. Downscaling it, not upscaling.
As this may be an economy series, the Spice-X SX1 couldn’t be massive, too powerful, or, after all, too fast. The idea was a simple one - “let’s make a car that is easy to transport, with a low center of gravity, small footprint, and that is fast enough.”
The result is this quite sinister looking machine that actually measures 150.6 inches in length and 66.7 inches in width. You wouldn’t have any problems getting it on the trailer, anyway. Despite being diminutive in size, the Spice-X SX1 should be quite capable around the track.
Somehow, this story reminds me of the first Lotus 7. It was designed and created on much the same idea and look what it achieved - it started a company. More so, its creator, Colin Chapman, started an ideology - simplify, then add lightness. Spice-X did the same with the SX1.
What We Know
Spice-X did not reveal all the performance data, but it seems that the less torquey car will hit its top speed at 100 mph, with the other one accelerating all the way up to 130 mph
Not much I am afraid. At least we have the photographs to drool over. Although simplistic in its design, the SX1 is promised to have a small drag coefficient and plenty of downforce. Furthermore, the car has been built using lightweight materials. Still, we do not have a clue what those materials are, but I would not be surprised if it was built out of some form of plastic. After all, the carbon fiber body is expensive.
Regardless of the “unobtanium” used, Spice-X did disclose that the SX1 will tip the scales at 1,323 lbs. That is really low. Like F1 low.
The idea of creating a racing car for the young which will be cheap, practical, easy to transport and presumably maintain is awesome, but I am curious what did Spice-X actually use to build a machine that comforts all those features. Apart from cheap materials, Spice-X couldn’t count on massive and advanced battery packs or super powerful electric engines.
So, the rear of the car seats two electric motors. One for each wheel with a power output of 40 horsepower per engine (no, I did not make a typo, it is 40 horsepower, not 400). While this sounds lame, remember that we are talking here about an uber low, lightweight, aerodynamic race car with electric engines. That means that all the torque is available in an instant. Depending on batteries (two versions are available with 330 volts or 450 volts,) that means 118 pound-feet of torque or 295 pound-feet of torque. Spice-X did not reveal all the performance data, but it seems that the less torquey car will hit its top speed at 100 mph, with the other one accelerating all the way up to 130 mph.
This racing car gives us a unique opportunity to see what the future may bring
Ok, I admit, the Fiat 500 Abarth would probably smoke these.
Nevertheless, this racing car gives us a unique opportunity to see what the future may bring. Unfortunately, the Italians did not give us any hints in regard to the pricing. But, be sure that the Spice-X SX1 will be dramatically cheaper than any other electric racing car. Formula E comes to mind in an instant as they are using city tracks and the SX1 seems to be adapted for the very same task - to race over the city tarmac. I can see something like the “Spice-X SX1 challenge” happening before every Formula E race. It could work.
Now, I did find that autosport.com reported that a "ready-to-race" FE car will not exceed €817,300, with powertrains capped at €250,000. That is a huge price. If I am to guess, I could imagine cars in this series being a bit cheaper compared to TCR racing cars. For example, Hyundai priced their all-new, ready to race, i30 N TCR at just under $150,000. What if the Spice-X SX1 goes for half of that?
Creating a cheap racing car is a problem. One has to follow the strict rules of the FIA which requires certain safety standards. This alone ups the price of a car to unfathomable levels making it tough for producers to create anything a regular chap could ever call affordable. Spice-X tried to cut on the nonessentials - the size, the power, the weight, and the complexity, trying to bring the price as low as possible.
This definitely gives them an edge compared to all other race car producers but also limits the effectiveness of the race car. Nevertheless, opting for the electric power instead of ICEs, Spice-X definitely wanted to tickle the minds of novice drivers and youngsters looking to start off their racing careers. Doing just that in a single-seater that looks like this and goes silent is, at least in my mind, cool.
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