XE: Odyssey 21 has first competitive run at Dakar

Gymkhana hero, Ken Block, drove the Odyssey 21 Extreme E car to third place, in the first competitive outing for the car, at the final stage of the 2020 Dakar rally.

The official entry set a time of 9m17s on the final course of the famous 7000km rally.

Nasser Al-Attiyah topped the Grand Prix of Qiddiya final stage in his Toyota Gazoo run Hilux with a time of 8m50s followed by Yasir Seaiden in the John Cooper Works Mini Rally 7 seconds behind.

Block said to Extreme E before the event; “It’s my first time driving an electric race car, first time in Saudi Arabia and first time I’m driving in the Dakar Rally – it’s a lot of firsts for me and I get to figure it all out today!”

Ken Block practising in the Odyssey 21 © Extreme E
Ken Block practising in the Odyssey 21 © Extreme E

Having little experience with electric vehicles, Block shed light on the differences in driving the E-SUV and his more usual Hoonigan antics.

My whole career’s been spent driving combustion-engined cars with turbochargers – the type of driving there with left-foot braking and the spool of the turbo to try and get drive out of corners is entirely different. 

Ken Block and the Odyssey 21 Extreme E Car © Extreme E
Ken Block and the Odyssey 21 Extreme E Car © Extreme E

“Here, you can be more progressive with the throttle and wait a little longer because the torque is there the second you get on the throttle – the thing just wants to leap forward. I’m having to tone down my style a little as the car reacts so quickly and the power delivery is so fast.”

Extreme E published a video on its official Twitter account this week showing the first ever onboard footage of the E-SUV when it was being tested in the Saudi Desert!

Extreme E is will compete its first season in 2021 and has four teams committed.

It will race at 5 different locations across the world including on a glacier in Greenland and a desert round in Saudi Arabia!