Saturday, October 9, 2010

NSX-GT FR Hybrid -- HELL YA!

When I posted the 2011 Schedule for the Super GT I mentioned Jon Sibal (go here to see more pictures of the car) posted about something interesting.  That interesting thing was a Front Engine Rear Wheel drive Honda (Acura) NSX-GT that was seen testing at the Twin Ring Motegi track earlier this week alongside other Super GT cars and there was a lot of interest as to what Honda was doing with the test car.  After a lot of searching for more information I came up empty handed minus the news source that Jon found.  That was until SuperGT.net posted an English explanation later in the week.

As it turns out the Test Mule NSX-GT was an older FR test mule that was fitted with a new KERS system supplied by Zytek.  Zytek is the company that worked with the McLaren F1 team to develop their KERS system. The reason for the testing is that the regulations for 2012 Super GT allows for use of hybrid technology in the race cars and so far only Honda has stepped up to the plate to start testing this week.

Testing of the NSX-GT FR was done by Honda with the help of Zytek personal during the week.  The first day the car set a time of 1.50.634 and while that was significantly slower than the best lap time that the former NSX-GT turned in when it was officially racing.  The hybrid prototype was in the capable hands of Katsutomo Kaneishi and on the second day of testing he was able to set a lap time of 1.49.468.  This was with the weight handicap of the KERS system that adds 50kg to the weight of the car.  To combat this increased weight the KERS system and it's related parts were moved to the rear of the car (as apposed to the passenger seat area in the Porsche GT3R Hybrid).  In total the NSX-GT FR prototype is close to 100kg heavier than the HSV-010.

The KERS system that was being tested in the NSX-GT FR prototype is a battery-equipped & liquid-cooled hybrid system that is capable of an output of 40kw.  This power was capable of giving the car a 20sec boost in power like seen in the F1 system.  In addition to that it is also capable of allowing the GT car to move down pit lane under only electric power.  This was seen during testing as the NSX-GT FR was piloted through pitlane underpower but making zero noise.  It was also noted that the KERS system is capable of charging the batteries from a zero charge setting to a full charge in one lap of a race.

All I have to say is hell yeah 2012 will look interesting.  So far though it looks like the KERS system may be limited to the GT500 class so don't hold your breath on seeing more Porsche GT3R Hybrids running around in GT300.  As it sits anyway.  I just want to say thanks to Jon for finding the information first and reporting on it.  And thanks to SuperGT.net for the better explanation and more information a little bit later.  Now we just need some bigger pictures of the car dang it.

Also here's a video of the car in action.

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