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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hybrid Sports Proto type Takes 4th Place in American Le Mans

In a sign of things to come in sports car racing the Corsa Motorsports GZ09 hybrid Sports prototype race car, in its first appearance at a Le Mans Series race, finished fourth overall after suffering minor teething problems with suspension.

Although the car ran on pure electricity during saturday's test session, due to teething problems on the cars race debut, the car had all the hybrid components onboard, but ran only under power from its 4.0 liter internal combustion engine. We are left to anticipate what results the car will be capable with the KERS system fully operational during endurance races where pit stops and fuel mileage play a large part in race results.

The car is based on a Q10 Hybrid carbon fiber/aluminum monocoque employing typical wishbone suspension with rack and pinion steering and fitted with a Ricardo 6-speed sequential gearbox using a Q10 Hybrid electronic gear shift system. The car will be powered through a combination of an ethanol-fueled internal combustion engine and a three-phase induction electric motor.

The ethanol-fueled engine is a newly designed Q10 Hybrid 90° normally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 with four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder with an output of 625 hp. The electric motor is a direct drive Q10 Hybrid proprietary design powered by an on-board lithium-ion energy storage system with a KERS (kinetic energy recovery) supplemental regeneration system.

The heart of the system is the energy storage/battery system which enables the collection and conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy permitting use of the electric motor resulting in more efficient power and a lower carbon footprint. The lithium-ion battery used on the car is supplied by Q10 Hybrid shareholder Continental AG of Germany.

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