Monday 15 September 2008

Peugeot shows new 908 HY diesel-hybrid Le Mans racer!

In the current world of big time international endurance racing, two cars stand head and shoulders above the rest, the Audi R10 TDI and the Peugeot 908 HDi. Put these two Le Mans Prototype class 1 cars, both powered by 5.5L turbo diesel V12s, on a wide open track and nothing can run with them. With Formula 1 introducing hybrid kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) in 2009 and the American Le Mans Series introducing a Green Challenge award, Peugeot has decided to take the next step with its program. The French manufacturer is using the last race of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Sliverstone to unveil a demonstrator called the 908 HY which may foreshadow the next generation of its Le Mans challenger. The 908 HY adds a 60 kW electric motor, a set of lithium ion battery packs and corresponding power electronics. The diesel hybrid system will allow the car to operate in electric-only mode in the pits, and get a power boost on the track thanks to recaptured kinetic energy. The current demonstrator has a net weight gain of 45 kg (99 lbs) compared to the standard car. Whether Peugeot runs a car based on this powertrain depends on the ACO, the organization that sets the rules for Le Mans.


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