ABT becomes second team to join Extreme E series
Title-winning ABB FIA Formula E and DTM squad ABT Sportsline has become the second team to confirm its participation in the Extreme E electric off-road SUV racing championship.
ABT, which has won five DTM titles with Audi and started the FE squad that is now the German manufacturer's works entry in the electric single seater series, winning the 2016/17 drivers' title with Lucas di Grassi, follows Venturi as the second XE entrant.
The team will take delivery of its ODYSSEY 21 car – one of 12 that will compete in the first XE season, which is slated to begin in January 2021 – in March '20.
The base model for the ODYSSEY 21 was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week.
"Everyone at ABT Sportsline loves competition, innovation, electric mobility and breaking new ground in the world of motorsport and elsewhere," said Hans-Jurgen Abt, ABT Sportsline CEO.
"That's why we were one of the first teams to join Formula E back in 2013 and also why we chose to become a member of the Extreme E family at this early stage.
"We believe in the concept – both in terms of its ideas for racing and its marketing potential off the track."
XE CEO Alejandro Agag added: "ABT Sportsline was one of the first outfits to commit to what was a then-new series and concept in Formula E some six years ago, and I'm delighted to welcome them as one of the first teams to join Extreme E.
"The team has seen great success in Formula E, DTM and other top-tier motor racing championships throughout the years.
"The unique challenge offered up by Extreme E with its formidable environments, head-to-head format and the need for real engineering ingenuity undoubtedly acts as a major draw for those with competition at their core.
"I can't wait to see how ABT Sportsline respond to that challenge."
When it receives its base ODYSSEY 21 next year, ABT will be able to develop its own version of selected areas of the car's powertrain and fit specific bodywork – including the engine cover, front and rear bumpers, side skirt, and lights – to match a road-going SUV.
It is unclear at this stage if ABT will be building its own powertrain or adopt the look of its ODYSSEY 21.
ABT Sportsline Sport Director Thomas Biermaier said: "The team of Extreme E is made up of people we trust 100% and who have become friends over the years.
"Our company has been involved in all motorsport categories for the past 70 years. Now we look forward to opening the newest chapter with Extreme E."
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