Tuesday newsbriefs

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Porsche is to race the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 in the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca, 17th September. It won’t be eligible for championship points, but it’s another chance to test the tech in racing conditions. Drivers will be Romain Dumas and Richard Lietz; Dumas drove the Hybrid last year at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, and Lietz has done various long-distance races at the Nurburgring, including the 24-hour, in it. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid features two 75kW motors on the front axle, supplementing the 465hp 4.0-litre, six-cylinder engine driving the rear, plus regenerative braking with energy stored in an electric flywheel. The stored energy can be accessed for short bursts of acceleration, as well as contributing to overall economy and an increased cruising range between refuelling.

  • Anarchy on the streets of Britain’s cities, global meltdown on the financial markets… ah well, we’ve got the Green Supercar Paddock to look forward to at the EcoVelocity show (8th-11th September, Battersea Power Station). Full rundown and picture gallery of attendees confirmed so far at the Charging Point; including the Bluebird Electric, Lightning GT, Delta E4, K1 Evelio, Citroen Survolt and (probably) the Westfield iRacer.
  • Tesla’s claimed victory again in the 800km e-Miglia rally, judged on efficiency and performance in a variety of tests through the Alps; pics at the Tesla Facebook page.
  • State of the EV market round-up: “companies with cash take the lead, start-ups struggle”, says Autoweek. Ain’t that usually the way? The independent innovators break the ground and prepare the public, the conglomerates and the best-connected/bankrolled cash in. A bit like the first dot-com boom.
  • Spy shots of an alleged Audi microcar – possibly an e-tron EV – at Autocar. It’s a low-slung tandem-seater, probably descended from Volkswagen’s L1 streamliner; to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, apparently. Love ‘spy shots’: given that the car was out in public on Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz, on a photo-shoot, did the spies really have to resort to much subterfuge?
  • The Electric RaceAbout, last seen at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, has lapped the Nurburgring in a very respectable 9min 40 seconds (that’s faster than a Mini E). The RaceAbout, developed by students at the Helsinki Metropolita University of Applied Science, is a prototype coupe capable of 136mph. Video of its Ring exploits, and more info, posted at Autoblog Green.
  • Quick scan of the reviews: “revolutionary” Audi A6 Hybrid at Auto Express, and they’re liking the Fisker Karma, too;  some mixed feelings but an overall tentative thumbs-up for the Karma from Autocar.
  • Mazda’s doing a series of roadshows to highlight its fuel-saving SkyActiv tech; concise but detailed rundown of the gearbox, body and chassis applications at Green Car Congress.
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