Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gentlemen, Switch on Your Invertors

by Larry E. Hall


Porsche�"s GT3 R Hybrid led the Nürburgring 24 Hours race in Germany with a little less than two hours remaining when the gasoline engine failed, sidelining the car.

Electrics and hybrids are speeding into motorsports

On May 16, with a little less than two hours remaining in the Nürburgring 24 Hours race in Germany, a Porsche was leading. No surprise, Porsche race cars had won the four previous 24 hour races at this classic endurance event.

But this Porsche was different than the previous winners and the other 32 Porsche entrants on the track that day; it was a hybrid race car.

Based on the latest 911 racer, the GT3 R Hybrid is a type of hybrid most of us will never drive. Using a technology developed for Formula One (F1) racing series, the high performance vehicle replaces the passenger seat with a flywheel generator that spins up to 40,000 rpm. The generator captures and stores energy each time the vehicle brakes. Then, when the driver needs additional speed for passing or exiting a corner, a tap of a button gives a 160 horsepower boost for 6-8 seconds via two electric motors mounted in the front wheels.

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