Four-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson has set his sights on a fifth drivers' title, following confirmation that he will return in a Kristoffersson Motorsport-run Volkswagen, as the series prepares for its inaugural electric era.
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Kristoffersson is the most successful driver in World RX history, having clinched a fourth World Championship in dramatic circumstances at the Nürburgring last November overturning a 17-point deficit to fellow countrymen Timmy Hansen to win on countback.
That achievement came behind the wheel of an EKS JC-prepared Audi S1, but the 33-year-old's three previous titles were all secured in Volkswagen machinery, meaning Kristoffersson will return in familiar surroundings.
KMS will field three electric Volkswagens during the inaugural electric season in 2022, with the precise model and Kristoffersson’s team-mates yet to be unveiled.
"Johan Kristoffersson is one of the biggest motorsport names Sweden has ever known. Four FIA World Rallycross Championship titles is an outstanding accomplishment, and we wish him all the best now that he is taking the step into the sport’s new electric era – most importantly, with a Volkswagen emblem on the front of his car," Sten Forsberg, CEO, Volkswagen Sweden, said.
Every car will be powered by the Kreisel RX1e kit that produces around 500kW with twin motorsport equivalent of 680bhp with 880Nm of instant torque.
"It feels inspiring to be involved in developing the new concept. The last time we undertook a project on a scale of this kind was in 2014, when we built our own cars for the first season of the World Championship. The big difference is that back then, I was completely inexperienced in rallycross – whereas things are a little different now," Kristoffersson said.
"There are obviously a lot of unknowns when everything is so new. In recent years, we have all followed proven concepts, so the development steps have been comparatively small – but there is much greater potential with these new cars. Electricity is the future for both motorsport and the automotive industry in general, and helping to drive that development is one of the most fascinating aspects of the sport for me. I expect an incredibly tough and competitive season ahead, and I’m excited to get started!"
The team founded by former FIA European Rallycross Championship front-runner and multiple Swedish Champion Tommy Kristoffersson is under no illusion that the switch to electric will be a challenge, but they are ready to tackle it head-on.
"This will be the largest project in KMS’ history, with a small family business building and developing three new cars in accordance with a new concept. That clearly comes with great personal responsibility, but we can rely upon a team of extremely skilled individuals as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience from Germany and within our own workshop in Arvika," Tommy Kristoffersson said.
"It’s a great privilege to work in such an environment, and at this level, you realise that the more you learn, the more you understand how little you actually know! We are looking forward to putting to use all the lessons we have learned over the years in this exciting new adventure – and to challenging for the world championship under our own steam once again."
The 2022 championship is set to get underway in Höljes on 2-3 July, followed by rounds at the Nürburgring, Norway, Rīga, Montalegre, Belgium, and Cape Town (TBC).