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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Toyota Racing formally introduces TS040 HYBRID; 1000 PS with 480 PS 4WD hybrid boost

March 27, 2014

TS040 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Racing has revealed the TS040 HYBRID car and revised driver line-up for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. (Earlier post.)

With 480 PS (473 hp, 353 kW) of four-wheel-drive hybrid boost in addition to the 520 PS (513 hp, 383 kW) 3.7-liter V-8 gasoline engine, the TS040 HYBRID, launched at Paul Ricard, has a maximum power of 1000 PS (986 hp, 735 kW). The move to a four-wheel drive hybrid sees Toyota return to a concept which has been part of its racing hybrid development since 2007, when the four-wheel drive Supra HV-R became the first hybrid to win an endurance race, the Tokachi 24 Hours.

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Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype makes its debut at Geneva Show

March 06, 2014

Porsche 919 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype made its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The hybrid prototype will be joined by the Porsche 911 RSR at the Porsche exhibition in Geneva as well as at all eight races of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the season highlight of which will be the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Porsche 919 Hybrid development began in the middle of 2011 on a blank sheet of paper. With a 16-year absence from the LMP1 class, Porsche engineers have had to develop the racecar without the same experience of their competitors. However, the experience acquired in racing the 911 GT3 R Hybrid (earlier post) and production of the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid (earlier post) has directly translated to the 919 Hybrid.

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New Toyota TS040 racing hybrid features new V8 all-wheel drive hybrid system with supercap energy storage

February 03, 2014

Since 2012, Toyota has been racing its TS030 Hybrid, equipped with a full racing hybrid system, in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). (Earlier post.) Participating in all eight races and with two wins last year, Toyota plans to enter all races this year with two new TS040 vehicles from Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) designed to meet changes in this year’s vehicle rules. Toyota hopes to achieve its first win in this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race, the third race in the WEC series.

The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System―Racing) powertrain, developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan, incorporates a new hybrid system equipped with a new V8 engine and an Aisin AW motor/generator on the front axle in combination with the DENSO unit at the rear to better power all four wheels to meet changes in vehicle rules this year.

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Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team unveils 2014 challenger and PU106A Hybrid Power Unit; new fuel and lubricants

January 28, 2014

The PU106A Hybrid Power Unit. Click to enlarge.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) Formula One Team unveiled the F1 W05, its 2014 challenger, at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Designed from the ground up as an integrated project between the Mercedes-Benz teams based at Brackley and Brixworth, this new car—the first all-new Silver Arrow to hit the track since 1954—comes in a year when Mercedes-Benz celebrates 120 years of motorsport and the 80th anniversary of the Silver Arrows.

The F1 W05 will deliver more than one-third more performance from every unit of fuel consumed. At the core of the racer is the new PU106A Hybrid Power Unit designed to meet the new philosophy and resulting requirements of Formula One. A maximum race fuel allowance of 100 kg per race, coupled with a maximum fuel flow rate of 100 kg/hour, focused development efforts on delivering performance with a set of new technologies that achieve the efficiency gain of more than 30%.

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Nissan 1.5L, 3-cylinder 400 hp engine to complement electric Le Mans ZEOD RC powerplant

January 27, 2014

The 400 hp DIG-T R race engine. Click to enlarge.

Nissan unveiled a 400 hp (298 kW) 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine weighing only 40 kg (88 lbs) as the companion internal combustion engine for its electric ZEOD RC which will debut at Le Mans this year. (Earlier post.) At the unveiling of the ZEOD RC in June 2013, Nissan said that it would test out variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition.

The Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans to complete a lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under nothing but electric power in June. A single lap of each stint (a fuel stint lasts approximately one hour) will be electric powered, then the new Nissan DIG-T R 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine will take over.

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Renault Energy’s Sport F1 hybrid Power Unit; competing with intelligent energy management, not just power

January 22, 2014

Exploded view of the parts of the power unit: 1.6l turbocharged V6 engine; battery; turbocharger; MGU-K; and MGU-H. Click to enlarge.

Renault’s Energy F1-2014 hybrid Power Unit (earlier post), designed and developed for the FIA Formula One World Championship this year, is ready for the track; the 2014 season kicks off in Australia on 16 March. New FIA regulations are driving energy efficiency levels higher this year, with two types of energy propelling the cars. The internal combustion engine will produce power through consumption of traditional carbon-based fuel, while electrical energy will be harvested from both exhaust and braking by two discrete motor generator units. Teams and drivers will balance the use of the two types of energy throughout the race.

This year, the power unit is divided into six separate elements: Engine (ICE); Motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K); Motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H); Energy store (ES); Turbocharger (TC); and Control electronics (CE). The combination of the 1.6-liter turbocharged direct injection V6 engine (maximum speed of 15,000 rpm) with the two motor generator units and battery energy store delivers combined maximum power output of 760 bhp (567 kW), on a par with the previous V8 generation.

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New Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer integrates two hybrid systems, kinetic and thermal

December 12, 2013

Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014. Click to enlarge.

Audi has released initial details on its new 2014-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 Le Mans prototype racer. Although the new diesel hybrid sports car appears like a continuous further development of the World Championship winning car and Le Mans winner of the past two years, due to the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect in 2014, Audi Sport redeveloped every component.

In the new Technical Regulations, a large number of principal definitions, which concern the powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics, were re-determined. With the new R18, Audi Sport has opted for a similar concept as in the past—albeit with new detailed solutions and an additional hybrid system. Powertrain elements include:

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Altran and Quimera expand vehicles partnership; first up is the electric AEGT Evo2 racer

November 02, 2013

Rendering of the AEGT Evo2. Click to enlarge.

Altran and Quimera have signed a new agreement to invest in their continued development and construction of vehicles to achieve better performance while significantly reducing environmental impact.

One of the key commitments outlined by Altran and Quimera to deliver tangible results for this new endeavor will be for Altran to enhance its Excellence Centre for New Automotive—the hub of the Altran Group’s projects focused on innovation and electric vehicle development. The center, with an R&D budget of €4 million (US$5.4 million) will now benefit from Quimera aligning its existing vehicles, project pipeline, motor sports program and global strategic partner programs with the center.

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Toyota goes all hybrid for Frankfurt Motor Show; Yaris Hybrid-R concept, fuel cell update

August 19, 2013

Teaser sketch of Yaris Hybrid-R concept. Click to enlarge.

At the upcoming 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota stand will be devoted entirely to hybrids, the company says. Toyota’s hybrid portfolio, built over the past 16 years, comprises 23 models sold in 80 countries. As of the end of July 2013, Toyota Motor Corporation has sold more 5.5 million hybrid products—more than 10% of which have been sold in Europe.

Toyota will also use the venue to unveil further potential technology directions in the future of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles with the world premiere of the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, as well as the latest status of its fuel cell technology development, due to be launched in a production car by 2015.

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Renault presents new hybrid power unit for F1 in 2014

June 21, 2013

Renault’s hybrid power unit for F1 in 2014 includes a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6L engine plus two motor generator units for energy recovery and use: the MGU-H (heat) and MGU-K (kinetic). Click to enlarge.

At the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, Renault presented its new power unit designed to the new technical regulations to be used in the FIA Formula One world champion ship from 2014 onwards: the Energy F1-2014. The regulations call for a 1.6L direct injection Turbo V6 plus a single turbocharger; an electric motor for boost is allowed.

There is a strong focus on improved vehicle fuel efficiency / reduced fuel consumption, with the fuel quantity for the race limited to 100 kg—about a 35% reduction from the current V8 F1 engines. Fuel mass flow rate is limited to 100 kg/hr max (it is currently unlimited), and Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) are allowed.

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Nissan unveils ZEOD RC electric Le Mans Prototype; targeting 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours

Nissan ZEOD RC. Click to enlarge.

Nissan unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car)—an electric Le Mans prototype racing car intended to reach speeds of more than 300 km/h (186 mph) at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 2014, where it will makes its debut.

Nissan will use the same core lithium-ion battery technology as in the LEAF and will test out variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition.

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Drayson Racing to make attempt for FIA World Electric Land Speed record with modified Lola-Drayson LMP EV

May 30, 2013

Lola-Drayson B12/69EV at Rockingham in January. Photo: Drayson Racing Technologies. Click to enlarge.

Drayson Racing Technologies will make an attempt for the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record in the sub-1000kg class on 25 June at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire using a modified version of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV electric Le Mans Prototype (earlier post). Lord Drayson, CEO and co-founder of Drayson Racing Technologies (as well as former UK science minister) will drive the EV flat-out along Elvington’s 1.86-mile runway.

Lord Drayson will aim to better the current record of 175 mph (282 km/h) set by Battery Box General Electric in the United States and which has stood since 1974. This record has held firm for nearly 40 years due to the technical challenge of running an electric vehicle consistently and reliably at such speeds when weighing less than 1000 kg, Drayson said.

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Renault adapts F1 KERS system for electric Twizy F1 Sport Concept

April 26, 2013

The Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept. Click to enlarge.

Renault engineers have built an “F1” concept version of the Twizy EV featuring a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) based on the solution used by Renault-powered Formula 1 race cars.

Twizy Renault Sport F1 is consequently equipped with two electric motors—i.e. the original motor (17 hp/13 kW) onto which the F1-style KERS with its own motor has been grafted. When the KERS is activated, Twizy Renault Sport F1’s power output climbs instantly by a factor of six, from 17 to 97 horsepower (72 kW). This boost is available for approximately 14 seconds, just as it is in the case of a Formula 1 car. Thanks to this additional power, the concept car is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in the same time as Mégane R.S.

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