The Trophée Andros kicks off its 21st season of ice-racing this weekend at Val Thorens in the French Alps featuring its first all-electric series, the appropriately-named Trophée Andros Electrique. You may remember they've been trying out battery-powered vehicles the past couple years, but this time the effort begins in earnest with 8 cars, built by accomplished motorsport constructor Exagon Engineering, taking their place on the starting grid. Although they look similar to the two machines run last year, this new batch of buggies is much improved. The dual motors have been replaced with a single 90 kW (120 hp) unit, the transmissions and electronic controls have been upgraded and the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have been swapped out for lithium ion cells from Saft. The result is a vehicle, officially dubbed the AC 03 Evo2, with real race car performance capable of completing 17 hard laps on a 2.5 km (1.55 miles) track.

It's not just the cars that are the stars in this inaugural campaign as four-time Formula One champion Alain Prost will take time from his conventionally-powered Dacia Duster duties to team up with his son Nicolas. "Le Professeur" and his offspring will face stiff competition from the car's developer Franck Lagorce, who has also gripped the wheel of a Formula One car, as well as a field of drivers with experience in Le Mans and other high-profile series. The campaign runs until the 30th of January and includes 7 challenging tracks. We'll be keeping an eye on how things develop but you can get a brief preview of the sights and sounds in the (French) video after the break.

[Source: Trophée Andros]

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