Opel Ampera Monte Carlo Rally EntrantEnlarge Photo
Over the past five years, the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally -- now called the Rallye Monte-Carlo Des Énergies Nouvelles -- has enjoyed increasing popularity as more automakers and private entrants tackle the eco-minded version of the world-famous Rally Monte Carlo.
For the past two years, Tesla has won the event with its all-electric Roadster, but this year General Motors is taking part for the first time with not one, but six Opel Amperas.
Although it looks slightly different, the Opel Ampera is essentially a renamed Chevrolet Volt, wearing slightly different body panels.
The rally, which takes place over four days and consists of three different route options ranging from 180 miles to 400 miles in length, will begin tomorrow and finish in Monaco, Monte Carlo on Sunday.
Just like the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel Ampera is fitted with a 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 111 kilowatt electric motor alongside a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder range extending engine.
Erik Comas Wins Fifth Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally for Tesla
Erik Comas Wins Fifth Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally for TeslaEnlarge Photo
Unlike some of the race-prepared electric cars we’ve seen in the past, the Amperas taking part in the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally will be as close to factory specification as possible.
The only modifications, GM says, will be specially-designed rally tires and an advanced, race-prepared GPS unit.
Like other eco-focused rally events we’ve seen in the past, the winner won’t necessarily be the competitor who arrives first. Instead, the winner will be the team which covers the set distances within allocated time limits while using as little energy as possible.
We’ll be bringing you the official results next week, but in the meantime you can follow the action from the rally’s official website.
On behalf of Green Car Reports and High Gear Media, we’d like to wish GM, and the 150 or so other competitors, a safe and enjoyable event.