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 Old 06-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Aston Martin to race with solar power

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Aston Martin, Electric, Racing

Aston Martin may be more about luxury GTs than performance-obsessed supercars, but when it comes to racing, it's no holds barred. Aston Martin Racing has developed competition-spec versions of the Vantage and DB9, and even done a few LMP1 prototypes. But while some have been powered by V8s and others by V12s, the one underlying commonality is that they have all - in contrast with championship-winning diesel and hybrid prototypes - been powered exclusively by internal-combustion engines burning gasoline. That's what makes this announcement noteworthy.

At Le Mans last weekend, the factory team announced a partnership with the Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group that will see solar panels installed on the roof of the Vantage GTE it fields in the World Endurance Championship. Only the thin panels won't be powering the wheels, boosting the engine somehow or powering the batteries for a hybrid assist. They'll be used to power the air conditioning system. Which may seem inconsequential, but when you consider that the AC typically saps power from the engine - and it can sap quite a lot on a hot race day - that could amount to a serious performance advantage while keeping the drivers comfortable.

While the system wasn't ready to use at Le Mans last weekend, temperatures at the French track don't get too high, so the air-con wouldn't likely be a big factor. The team (operated on Aston's behalf by Prodrive) does expect, however, to have the system up and running in time for next round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where it can get insufferably hot. Aston and Hanergy also hope to install the system on the V12 Vantage GT3 and V8 Vantage GT4 it supplies to customer teams, and install solar panels on the roof of the new facility Prodrive is building in Banbury, UK.Continue reading Aston Martin to race with solar power

Aston Martin to race with solar power originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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