Hybrids are boring and slow, right? That’ss a common theme many car guys find themselves repeating, and at one time it was true. But hybrids are here to stay, and automakers are finding out that there are certain hybrid systems that have a lot of performance potential built into their design. That’s why FIA World Endurance Championship and Formula One series both use hybrid race cars…and that hybrid racing technology might make its way into production cars soon.
Drive.au reports that a version of the flywheel hybrid system may end up in the HSV Commodore Clubsport R8 race car…and eventually in road-going Holdens as well.
Unlike normal hybrid systems, which use a small battery pack to power an electric motor at low speeds, a Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS hybrid uses a flywheel to recapture energy from braking. The spinning flywheel can then dump the stored energy to the wheels for a power boost. Formula One has used this system for several years, and the Audi R18 e-tron that won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans used a similar system.
Holden hopes that its own KERS hybrid, which converts the flywheel energy into electricity stored in an electric battery, might make its Clubsport R8 more competitive on the track. Such a system could also drastically increase the fuel economy of cars like the Commodore in city driving. It would certainly make owning a big V8 sedan a little less costly. With the Commodore coming to America as the Chevy SS, America might even get a crack at this new take on hybrid cars.
Would you ever drive a V8 sedan with a hybrid system, or are these two drivetrains just too different for you to embrace together?