FIA unveils Affordable Cross Car in Samarkand

  • Milestone for the FIA as key project realised
  • Low-cost targets achieved
  • Demonstration for ASNs at FIA Conference

The FIA’s Affordable Cross Car project reached a crucial milestone at the FIA Conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, as the Affordable Cross Car project was officially unveiled by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“We committed ourselves to this project and we are proud to have now delivered it,” he said. “When we said we would develop motor sport around the world, we were not being overly optimistic. The problem in developing countries is accessibility and cost, and we have put a huge amount of work in to make sure the costs could be kept down. I would urge all ASNs to take advantage of what we are offering, it’s a milestone for all of us and I want to thank all of the team who have worked so hard on it.”

Affordable Cross Cars are set to form the base of the off-road and rally pyramids, offering an entry point for young or amateur drivers to start developing their skills, much in the same way that karting is the starting point for circuit racing. It is a core manifesto pledge of the FIA President to double motor sport participation, and grassroots initiatives such as this form the basis of the action being taken to achieve this goal.

First launched in 2018, the Cross Car category currently features senior and junior categories. The Affordable Cross Car project creates two new classes below the top tiers that have been designed and developed by the FIA. At Level 1, the entry level for young drivers, the cost parameters are approximately €5,000. At the intermediate Level 2, which is aimed at incentive drives and beginner competitions, with costs of around €10,000.

Crucially the FIA is making the design blueprints for these cross cars available to ASNs free of charge, so that they can engage with local manufacturers and suppliers to keep costs to a minimum.

While cost-control is central to the project, the designs have not compromised on safety and performance, and there is a great deal of flexibility to fit different engines depending on desired power output and the availability of different engines across different markets.

Speaking at the unveiling, FIA Deputy President for Sport, Robert Reid, added, “This is a really important rollout for us. It’s vital that the blueprints for the vehicle are being given to our members free of charge, and during the course of this project we were shocked to find traditional cross car engines not available globally, so we have opened up the flexibility there by designing the chassis to be able to fit a multitude of different engines. We can now combine this with projects like Motorsport in a Box and really deliver regional empowerment to our clubs.”

The project is an agile mechanism to develop motor sport irrespective of the size or structure of an ASN. For those who have little to no motor sport, the cars can be used on simple slaloms using Motorsport in a Box, while for clubs who have active motor sport but want to increase their activities, this presents an opportunity to use a new discipline. Even for larger clubs who may run a lot of motor sport, it is a chance to grow further or even empower their members to run events on their behalf.

The project will be delivered by the FIA Sport Development Department, with Secretary-General for Sport, Valerio Iachizzi and FIA Head of Sport Clubs Development and Education, Greg Symes, providing an additional workshop for the ASN representatives following the car unveiling.

“We are delighted that many clubs have already applied for Sport Funding for the this project,” said Iachizzi. “We can of course now start delivering, and I really encourage more of our members to get in touch with us and start on the Affordable Cross Car journey!”

The launch was capped off with a thrilling demonstration of the Affordable Cross Car, with FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Chair and rally driver Burcu Çetinkaya wowing the delegates and putting the new car through its paces outside the Silk Road Samarkand complex.  

Click here to watch a video of the demonstration.