- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
After showcasing the Concept Universe (above) at last year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Volvo will unveil an all-new concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just a few week’s time. This latest project will be used as a platform to promote the brand’s new 4-cylinder engine lineup that it claims won’t reduce driving pleasure or the luxury experience.
The Williams Formula 1 team has a long and somewhat checkered history at the pinnacle of motor sports, and like some of its competitors, have delved into the business of sports cars. Williams was full at hand with the development of the Renault Clio Williams from the early to mid ’90s, and had even developed a concept van called the Renault Espace F1, which was a minivan with a Renault engine taken from an F1 race car.
Morgan Motor Company and British technology specialists have teamed up to build a new, high-performance electric sports car prototype. The development project is being partially funded by a £100,000 grant from the Niche Vehicle Network CR&D Programme that supports companies active in the niche vehicle sector.
Volvo has announced plans to develop and test a new flywheel kinetic energy recovery system. Volvo says the KERS system (or FKERS as Volvo calls it) is “a light, cheap and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six at the same time as fuel consumption drops with up to 20 percent.”
The KERS system is fitted to the rear axle of the car (displayed in video). When braking, the energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission. This will allow fuel efficiency to improve by 20%. Horsepower and acceleration are also improved under this system.
Volvo is planning to begin testing the system later this year with the hopes of launching it “within a few years.”
Check out the video after the jump!
Formula 1 will revert back to its craziest era in 2013, when it adopts a 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo engine for its series. The last time the turbo 4-banger was offered, it made in excess of 1,300 horsepower, but the new rules will be focused more on efficiency rather than outright power.
While we continue to anxiously await a possible NSX successor for the street, Honda has been out at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan testing an NSX Hybrid for the upcoming 2012 Super GT season. The 2012 season will allow teams to equip and utilize a hybrid system on their race cars in the series.
Made by Zytech (the company that handled McLaren’s Formula 1 KERS system), the hybrid drive has 40kw of output power and can be used to power the car in pit lane (full electric).
The battery can be fully charged in just one lap on a course and has about 20 seconds of use when the driver opts to turn on the overtake button. The system adds another 220 lbs or so to the race car and to determine just how big of a difference it makes Honda enlisted the driving expertise of Katsutomo Kaneishi.
Kaneishi was able to lap Twin Ring Motegi in 1 minute, 49.468 seconds. It was 4.453 seconds behind the fastest lap time recorded in that session. Development of these hybrid systems for Super GT will continue for the next year and change, so we’ll anxiously await the results and how it’ll impact the Super GT race series.
Now if Honda could pair a powerful KERS system with a high-output version of one of its V6 engines and drop it in the HSV-010 GT race car chassis and make it street legal … now we’re talking!
Check out more pics of the NSX Hybrid in action after the jump:
Ferrari has announced that it will run a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in its Formula 1 cars next season. The team had tested a KERS system in 2009 but scrapped the plans for 2010 when all the competing manufacturers collectively agreed to avoid the system in a bid to cut costs.
The latest nugget of information surrounding Volkswagen‘s often-rumored foray into Formula 1 came at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, with a VW executive claiming that the Volkswagen Group’s premium brands, like Audi or Porsche would be the best fit for the company’s shot at the world’s most prestigious motorsport.
We still don’t know much about it, but we do know its name… sort of. The 599 hybrid, sitting on display at the Geneva Auto Show, is accompanied by the title Vettura Laboratorio HY Kers. Details of the matte-green hybrid Ferrari (ever thought you’d heard those words in the same sentence?) are still scarce, but the name says a lot about the car.
While Ferrari has claimed hybrid F-Cars are several years off, a recent report suggests that a hybrid version of the company’s 599 GTB flagship will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. This hybrid will likely be performance based and use a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) setup similar to the ones designed for Formula One.