Chelsea Sexton Drives HER-02 Racer (WIRED Magazine)Enlarge Photo
Former EV-1 saleswoman, electric-vehicle advocate and electric car celebrity Chelsea Sexton recently learnt that despite what some may say, size isn’t everything.
Sexton, who works tirelessly within the auto industry to help electric cars make it to market got a little reward recently for her hard efforts when she was invited by Wired magazine to help it test-drive a very unique single-seat race car -- the Yokohama HER-02 EV sports concept.
Winner of the exhibition class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the past two years, the tiny racer completed the 12.42 mile course in 12 minutes and 20 seconds earlier this year to set a new record for its class.
The HER-02 devotes so much of itself to its powerful drivetrain and 37 kilowatt-hour battery pack that drivers over 5 foot 8 inches or 145 pounds aren’t even able to sit behind the wheel, making Sexton the perfect choice for an afternoon of fun.
AC Propulsion Team Yokohama electric Pikes Peak race car. Photo credit: Yokohama.Enlarge Photo
After Sexton was shown the ropes by its usual driver Ikuo Hanawa, she was guided through the car’s into the car and allowed to put it through its paces on the closed, flat circuit of an autocross course at the LA Angles Baseball stadium.
Powered by the same AC propulsion system found in the 2009 Mini E, Wriightspeed X1 and a not-too-distant cousin of the Tesla Roadster, the HER-02 has mind-blowing acceleration, as Sexton soon ound out.
“The aural experience of driving the HER-02 matches the visceral one,” she wrote after her drive. “The course’s opening straight all but begged for wide-open throttle, which made the AC motor squeal in delight.”
Aside from the sheer acceleration, the 200 kilowatt motor metered out 258 pound-feet of torque, making Sexton squeal in delight as let the rear wheels pour white smoke across the track.
We’ve known Sexton for many years -- and have to say that she is one of the most honest and candid of all electric vehicle advocates. When she says something is good, it generally is -- so perhaps we should leave the last word to her.
“A lot of people think EVs are totally silent, but the fun ones rarely are.”
We completely agree.