Peugeot has unveiled a new hybrid race car that may compete in Le Mans’ top class in 2009.
A hybrid version of Peugeot Sport’s current 908 HDI, the 908 HY is fitted with a kinetic energy recovery system that allows some of the energy lost under braking to be reused or stored.
Energy recovered is stored in 14 battery packs compromising 600 lithium-ion cells, allowing the 908 to run like a conventional hybrid.
In the pit-lane the 908 HY will run as a straight electric vehicle, but it can also function solely as a petrol racer when not running in hybrid mode.
Peugeot estimates that during a lap of the Le Mans circuit the 908 HY will harness energy for between 20 and 30 seconds; the stored energy can then power the 60kW electric motor.
Extra power will be available for around 20 seconds per lap when accelerating or when the driver chooses to overtake.
Hybrid technology is not yet permitted in the Le Mans series, and the 908 HY’s use will depend on the current regulations being modified to allow its use in the future.