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Peugeot plans new hybrid Le Mans racer

Rafay Ansar


The 2008 Le Mans Series finished this weekend with a thrilling battle in Silverstone between Audi and Peugeot. Though Audi was victorious, Peugeot stole the headlines by unveiling a new hybrid version of its racer.

Based on the 908 HDi FAP that competed at Le Mans this summer, the new 908HY utilises an electric motor-generator and sophisticated battery technology to make use of the braking energy usually lost to heat in a race car.

During braking, energy is stored in 600 lithium-ion battery cells in two different parts of the car. The energy may then be used in conjunction with the 60kW electric motor to aid acceleration or to maintain performance with less fuel usage.

It is thought that the 20-30 seconds of braking featured on a lap of the Le Mans circuit would be enough to provide about 20 seconds of extra power from the batteries, while the 908HY also has the capability to cruise on battery power alone - for instance in the pit lane.

Peugeot acknowledges that the use of the 908HY depends on new regulations for the 2009 season.

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