2014 is going to bring sweeping changes for the technical regulations of Formula 1 racing. Teams are moving from 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8’s to turbocharged 1.6 liter V6’s with two electric motors. The first is the familiar crank driven mechanical energy recovery system and the second is a thermal energy recovery system where an electric motor is added between the turbine and compressor of the turbo. Ferrari’s intro video shows a “uniturbo” similar to the ones used on the Audi TDI Le Mans racers where the turbine housing has two entry passages for the opposing banks of the V6. The electric motor can act as a generator producing electrical energy from the turbine or it can work as a motor to help spool the turbo into boost efficient rpm’s. Integrating the engine so thoroughly with these new hybrid technologies calls for some new terminology. “Engine” is no longer an adequate description of the cars’ power sources. The whole system is now being referred to as a powertrain and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is now referred to as ERS (Energy Recovery System) since it will now also be harvesting thermal energy. New rules regarding restricted fuel capacity and flow rates and better engine durability accompany the new powertrain architecture. The energy management strategies are going to play a huge role in team strategies for the upcoming season. Hopefully most of this performance hybrid technology and acceptance will trickle down into affordable street cars pretty soon.
Japanese tuning house, Liberty Walk, first made waves last year with their wide body Lamborghini Murcielago. They continued to turn heads at this year’s SEMA show with body kits for the Nissan GT-R and the Ferrari 458 Italia:
It turns out that Liberty Walk’s founder, Wataru Kato, had set an ultimatum to shut the company down had their Murcielago not been a big hit last year. GT Channel got a pretty in-depth interview with him where they talk about where Kato-san got his influences and how he manages to promote the Liberty Walk brand image despite of not speaking any English.
Apparently Chris Harris is now back in Ferrari’s good graces because they definitely hooked him up for this test of the F12 Berlinetta. Harris got to drive the car for a few days and then they gave him 4 sets of tires to nuke doing his signature oversteer review. Beyond being fun to watch, this video goes to show that Ferrari is approaching the use of sophisticated electronics packages correctly. Instead of augmenting a mediocre car into supercar territory, the base car is built with a superb natural balance and the electronics are used to make it more livable and usable. Sit back and enjoy the entertainment brought to you by the sacrifice of many expensive Pirelli tires:
This is the raw on-board footage of Allan Simonsen piloting the Maranello Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia for an illegally fast qualifying lap for the Liqui-Moly 12 Hours of Bathurst endurance race. The teams were not allowed to qualify faster than a 2:06 and this lap clocked in at 2:05.49 with traffic. Maranello was assigned 50 kg of penalty weight and the time from this lap was thrown out. Though this seems kind of harsh, the speed of the cars is limited to keep competition fair and development costs down for the good of the entire racing series. Watch the video to see a beautiful performance through one of my favorite tracks in the world:
The RSRNurburg race car rental company set up this Ringmeister showdown between Sabine Schmidz in a Porsche 911 GT3RS modified with KW coilovers and Ron Simons in a stock Ferrari 458 Italia. The filming was done from a 2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition.