Peugeot Pledge Le Mans Hybrid

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There’s been a lot of feel-good commentary in the Motor Sport press ruminating on how racing just could be the saviours of the motor industry and the planet as we know it, by shaking down, then trickling down the expensive technology to the masses that, without the tough anvil of motorsport, would never get to see the light of day.

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It could be wishful thinking, but endurance racing, where the increase in fuel efficiency can have obvious and tangible effects on the success of a team, might be one of the areas where the prophecy of green motor sport may come to pass. It’s obvious when you think about it. Hybrid technology is perfect for endurance racing.

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Now Peugeot look set to trump rival BMW in the alternative propulsion stakes with introducing a hybrid electric vehicle for the Le Mans showdown of 2011. As in many Hybrids, kinetic energy from the movement of the wheels as well as the heat generated by braking is stored in the power system on the proposed vehicle.

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Engineers working for the team reckon that not only can power be used in power boosting out of corners (as in the KERS system that will be introduced this year in F1), but electrically powering the vehicle pit lane speeds and other low-energy situations (behind a safety car for instance) will increase fuel efficiency significantly, thereby lessening the need for time-costly refuelling stops.

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Whatever the technical advantages that Hybrid technology brings. We dig the electric-shock paintjob. If it’s clean, green and fast, the world is sure to take notice.

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