“This new car does 0-100kph (0-60mph) in under two seconds, it has four-wheel drive with 680bhp, 880Nm of torque… It’s brutal.”
So what is she expecting in Hell? “The first laps will be mind-blowing. This electric era suits rallycross so perfectly because it is so explosive and intense and you can really use all the power you have flat out for five laps, you don’t have to save any energy. It really suits the sport well.”
Lack of range remains the biggest hurdle for EV motor sport, which is why the likes of the World Rally Championship has taken a hybrid path that is less of a diversion away from convention – although we’ve seen the technical progress that has been made in this regard in Formula E. But it’s no coincidence that of those series adopting fully electric powertrains they all run to a shortform style of racing. Indeed, Extreme E and the Pure ETCR tin-top series that is in its second season have all drawn inspiration from rallycross.
She assures fans they shouldn’t be worried about a lack of spectacle. “It’s going to be so, so good. It’s a match made in heaven, even more intense and explosive, dramatic and action-packed. Also the drivers are so good at this level, so it will be really good racing. I’m excited to see how it turns out. I grew up watching these guys, so it will be great to be beside them on the grid. But when I have my helmet on I don’t care who I’m racing, it’s just another driver I want to beat.”
The first-female angle is important, as she acknowledges. But as is happily so often the case with women racers in other forms of motor sport, she reports her gender has never been an issue throughout her racing career – which dates back to her first go in a kart at seven. Now 22, she’s been rallycrossing for four years.
The move for the world series will upset some purist fans, inevitably. But it’s hard to argue that in our changing world it’s really the only direction the promoter and the FIA could take with a form of motor sport which is all about short, sharp action.
“Society is heading into a more sustainable future with the development of private cars,” says Andersson. “Society is entering this electric era and a lot of other disciplines are doing the same. It’s really good that rallycross is doing that also and taking a really big step towards a sustainable future. It sends a good message.”