One of the few pieces of race tech that I look forward to in road cars.
via Autoblog by Michael Harley on 11/15/11
A Flywheel-Equipped Race Car Leaves Us Whirring for MoreSpinning at 36,000 revolutions per minute just two feet from my right thigh, a 31-pound flywheel is screaming like a five-horsepower Shop-Vac with the filter removed. The sound pierces the composite shell of my racing helmet and drills through my form-fitted foam earplugs before painfully slamming into my eardrums. Yet despite the aching annoyance, I welcome and embrace the high-pitched drone. It means, in the simplest terms, that the monster inside this ballistic carbon fiber cocoon is not only awake, but completely energized. With a stab of the throttle, the kinetic energy in the spinning flywheel is automatically exchanged for electricity – the charged ions power two strong electric motors on the front axle. Instantaneously bestowed with 200 torque-laden horsepower, the sticky Michelin slicks claw at the pavement with a vengeance. I clench the wheel as the carbon-fiber bodied race car lunges forward with more accelerative force than an F-16 fighter jet at takeoff power. Welcome to the driver’s seat of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0.