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Gumpert to Run Plug-in Hybrid Supercar in 24 Hours Nürburgring Race

Mr. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, ex-Formula One (F1) racer and champion, and Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH plan to enter a hybrid electric version of the Apollo supercar powered by a lithium-ion battery solution from Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) into this year’s Nürburgring 24 hour race (ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen), 22-25 May 2008.

The Gumpert Apollo.

The battery will be charged prior to the race and recoup energy from braking during the race, in a mode that resembles a plug-in hybrid electric operation (PHEV). The electric range of the vehicle will be 50 kilometers, and plans are to double it in the near future.

The hybrid Apollo will use a 3.3-liter V8 bi-turbo gasoline engine with a 100 kW electric motor. The 9kWh GAIA battery pack will comprise 90 high power 27Ah cells connected in series and will weigh about 190 kilograms. The battery will include an advanced battery management system (BMS) that will transmit battery performance data via satellite for monitoring and enhance performance control of the technical team.

The large-format 3.6V, 27 Ah GAIA cells have a specific energy of 100 Wh/kg and energy density of 264 Wh/L; with specific power (30 s pulse discharge) of 950 W/kg and a power density (30 s pulse discharge) of 2,100 W/L. Cycle life at 20°C and 100% DOD is 400 cycles to 80% nominal capacity.

LTC manufactures a range of cells with two different types of chemistries, iron-phosphate and nickel-cobalt.



I wish them luck.

That V8 sounds pretty sweet...


It's highly unlikely, that the telemetry data is being transmitted using a satellite link. The latency induced (~1,5 to 2 sec) would not allow any real-time interaction / monitoring of highly transient states in the powertrain (even if that interaction would be to tell the driver to throttle back a bit).

Besides, continously aligning a dish to the satellite during high-g lateral forces in corners would be a real challenge.

It's much more likely, that a simple, ordenary racetrack telemetry system will be used (with a omnidirectional, low power transmitter in the car)...

Other than that: I plan to follow this even in real time to see how the hybrid copes; the GS400h already successfully competed in the Tokachi 24h race (17th position overall and fourth in the ST1 class).

If they run their simulations about the race conditions properly in advance, the drivetrain ECU could manage the
car with much more foresight (read: recharge the batteries with no cost to vehicle performance, and not
stop draining the battery too early because of some
generic threshold just 1 sec short of the next braking phase).

Hybrid setups give you much more freedom, and you can
drive a completely different profile with your car than an ordenary racecar (ie. accelerate faster, decelerate harder and overtake more often).

So far, only slightly modified street hybrid cars were doing races, afaik. This will be the first dedicated hybrid racing car - perhaps we're going to see some of the things likely to happen in F1 next year with the mechanical KERS system...


Too pretty to drive. I would just want to put it next to me and expand my tan from the glossy reflection of the sun.

Healthy Breaze

If any application ever screamed out for a supercap- battery pack combo, this is it. How much extra weight would the electronics have to add to allow the Lithium pack to top off the super caps so that both could be used at once in maximum acceleration mode?


Isn't that what the Supra racing hybrid did? Or was that capacitor alone?

this is crap


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