Friday, December 15, 2006

Formula 1 turning Green?

With the never ending manipulation of Crude Oil prices the current rage of major automobile manufactures is the race towards hybrid synergy’s… While Toyota leads the way in hybrid vehicles currently available to the public, Honda continues further refinement of its fuel cell powered car with Nissan set to build its very first hybrid.

At the recently held LA Auto Show, the “Big Three” gallantly blathered on about upcoming “plug-in” hybrids, as GM & Ford try to desperately cling to their eroding market share. While Detroit seems to believe that only Trucks/SUV’s are the vehicle of choice, Daimler-Chrysler was busy unveiling their new “Blue-Tec” diesel technology. Developed jointly with Audi & VW, blue-tec is the latest in diesel fuel economy technologies as emission standards have further increased for 2007.

Meanwhile Max Mosley gave a keynote speech on how Formula 1 engine manufacturers should be focusing upon alternative fuel technologies and environmental standards instead of
Simply trying to make their “lumps” rev even higher. Formula 1 engines have been “frozen” for the foreseeable future along with being mechanically rev-limited to 19,000 RPM’s for 2007.

Audi’s revolutionary R10 turbo diesel won the 12hrs of Sebring and du 24 heurs Le Mans this year, becoming the very first manufacturer in history to win these two events. The R10 went undefeated in the ALMS this year. Peugeot plans to attend the 2007 24 hours of Le Mans with its own turbo diesel. With the push towards diesel engines which get up to 40% better fuel economy over gasoline engines will we see bio-fueled turbocharged diesels powering Formula 1 chassis in the future?