Today (May 15) STARD releases a first preview to the Austrian company’s biggest undertaking in its history, with a clear target to sustainably influence rallycross and other motorsport categories by introducing a unique portfolio of tailor-made yet affordable EV [Electric Vehicle] technologies and systems.

Since making the first developments in-house for motorsport specific EV technology more than seven years ago, a constant development in structure and orientation has taken place within the specialist company, at its Vienna-based headquarters and production facilities. A first official demonstration of STARD´s EV activity and competence was revealed in 2016 with the surprise world-first launch of the fully-electric rallycross and rally four-wheel drive prototype, codenamed HIPER, which soon won events.

STARD had presented this car to the FIA prior to its official reveal, clearly influencing the initial plans for Electric World Rallycross, back in 2016. Since then, STARD has continued to constantly intensify its activity around EV powertrain technology, which evolved into the company´s main focus through the last three years with a clear target on Electric World Rallycross.

The Austrian firm has kept most of its work, including numerous government funded research, customer development and internal R&D projects, up to and including supporting the FIA with data and experience surrounding the recent “E-WRX” plans mostly under wraps, out of the public eye, and is excited to released more into the public domain in the near future

Michael Sakowicz, STARD CEO and founder: “It’s an open secret that STARD, including our president Manfred Stohl, has heavily influenced the entire rallycross world with regards to its electrified future, which resulted in a number of recent activities and official announcements. The entire STARD team is hugely excited to finally go fully official and live with our “Projekt” as we say in German. Since I came up with the idea of an all-electric rally car back in 2009, everything started to change within our company. Through a very intensive phase with many challenges, including facing a lot of criticism among the motorsport environment in recent years, we have always believed in our “roadmap to EV” and that we took the right choice at the right time. All of the recent movement in the rallycross environment after IMG Motorsports announced “Projekt E”, which even changed the opinion of some of the most EV-skeptical parties and made them become strong supporters practically overnight, absolutely confirms to us that we have been completely correct in committing to a modern and forward-looking future of rallycross and motorsport already years ago. The next months will continue to be intense and become even more exciting for us and the future of the sport.”


STARD´s 1st all electric 4WD rally & rallycross development car HIPER MK1


2019 will be a year of revelation for STARD and the EV rallycross environment. A number of components, systems, products and customer projects with a big focus on the electric future of rallycross will be presented over the next weeks and months. The spearhead of this initiative is a unique and forward thinking undertaking, processed in cooperation with top partners, of which more details will be revealed very soon.

STARD’s initiative has one clear target: to revolutionize both the present and future world of rallycross. Be ready for a number of surprises within this package, which is the result of the dynamic and truly racing spirited team of technicians and engineers at STARD.

Manfred Stohl: “If 20 years ago when I started what was back then still a small and modest motorsport service company, someone had told me that in 2020 it would be influencing an entire world championship motorsport category and playing a key role in enabling that to become ready for a totally new and revolutionary future, I guess I would just have laughed out loud, turned around and left shaking my head. Yet, here I am standing and experiencing this, thanks to the dedicated and passionate team of specialists within STARD and our hard work and brave decisions over the last few years. I am very proud of the entire team led by STARD CEO Michael Sakowicz for achieving this incredible success. We will redefine rallycross, a part of motorsport, and our entire motorsport activity within STARD and Stohl Group likewise throughout the year.”

President Manfred Stohl with FIA President Jean Todt in Front of STARD´s all electric HIPER MK1 RX testcar in Vienna

STARD´s 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship project



STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development and part of Stohl Group GmbH), CEO & founder Michael Sakowicz, is a research and development specialist company active in advanced motorsport, racing and high performance technology.

Stohl Group GmbH was founded and is owned by former Gr.N rally world champion and WRC Star Manfred Stohl and consisting of 3 major independently operating business departments:


  • STARD (R&D for motorsport, automotive and beyond),
  • Stohl Racing (technical and logistic motorsport service, aftermarket),
  • Stohl Apartments (Accommodation)


STARD is focussing on entire vehicle and subsystem development and, together with Stohl Group´s other departments, covers the process chain, from first concept, design, prototype build up, up to small series vehicle production entirely in house.

Stohl Racing additionally offers worldwide top level race service, including the service of STARD in-house developed  racing vehicles.

STARD is very active in R&D projects for full EV powertrain systems and has taken a pioneering role in EV technology for mixed surface motorsport categories like rally and rallycross by introduction of the world´s first all-electric Rally/Rallycross development car “HIPER MK1”

Infos on HIPER MK1:


STARD is further competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with in house developed Ford Fiesta based Supercars since 2015.