News – Honda tests NSX Hybrid
In very recent news, Honda was spotted at the the Twin Ring Motegi circuit sporting the test car for the 2012 Super GT series that enables teams to equip and use a Hybrid system on race cars in the series…
Toyota and Nissan were also at the test but all eyes were on Honda who were also running a KERS system ( Kinetic Energy Recovery System ) developed by Zytek who handled and developed McLaren F1′s KERS systems
This extract on the day came courtesy of the Super GT site:
“The reason for this special appearance was to test a new hybrid system mounted in the FR type NSX. The new SUPER GT regulation set to go into effect for the 2012 season will enable participation of cars with hybrid systems. With regard to the use of hybrid systems, GTA has been in talks with the three makers competing in the GT500 class, and Honda has stepped forward this time with an advance hybrid technology development project.
The system in use is made by Zytek and is said to be a battery-equipped & liquid-cooled hybrid system. Initial shakedown testing has already been conducted a month ago, but this appearance marked the first full-fledged track tests. The system has a 40kw output and is said to be capable not only of powering an overtake button function like those used in F1 but also powering the car as an EV (electric-powered vehicle) in the pit lane.
( This can be confirmed by someone affiliated with 7tune who remarked that the car made no noise at all as it was cruising down the pitlane )
What’s more, it is reported that the battery can be charged from a no-charge state to full charge while running just one lap of a racetrack. A full charge is said to power the overtake button for approximately 20 seconds of use.
According to a Honda spokesperson, the total weight of the system is about 50 kg. The battery and the radiator that cools it are mounted in the rear of the car. The engine mounted in the front of the vehicle is said to be the same 3.4-liter V8 presently used by Honda in the GT500 machines, but the overall weight of the car with the hybrid system is approximately 100 kg heavier than the current GT500 machine.
Because they, “wanted the opinion of a veteran driver,” Katsutomo Kaneishi was chosen as the test driver.
Despite the added weight of the car, Kaneishi succeeded in breaking the 1 min. 50 sec. barrier on the Motegi track on the second day of tests with a lap time of 1 min. 49.468 sec. That was just 4.453 seconds behind the fastest time recorded in that session by the ENEOS SC430.
Although there will surely be further testing and development before a hybrid system like this is actually used in GT competition, the initial results were positive. At present it is not clear whether GTA will supply this system to all cars participating in the GT500 class from the 2012 season. It is likely that development will continue in consultation with the various makers to determine the appropriate timing for full-scale adoption.
Source – Super GT.net
Photos – Honda