Panoz announces an endurance electric racer
Panoz, the American sports car manufacturer that's a key player in the Nissan-backed DeltaWing project, recently partnered with parent company Green4U Technologies to develop a new electric race car. Known as the GT-EV, plans call for it to have a range of 90 to 110 miles (145 to 177 km) per battery pack and a top speed of 175 to 180 mph (282 to 290 km/h), allowing it to compete in long-distance endurance races.
The idea is that instead of doing a whole race on one battery pack, the car will periodically make pit stops to have freshly-charged packs swapped in. It should reportedly be possible to do so in about the same amount of time that it takes to refill a conventional race car's gas tank.
It will have a lightweight carbon fiber chassis, an off-center enclosed cockpit, active aerodynamic features that reduce drag on straightaways, and all-wheel-drive. The latter will be thanks to two motors – one powering the front wheels, and the other powering those in the rear. All four wheels will also feature regenerative braking, to help boost the car's range.
Panoz is aiming at 400 to 450 kW of total power, and a total weight (including battery pack) of 2,200 to 2,750 lb (998 to 1,247 kg).
The GT-EV concept was unveiled this Thursday at the company's display in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Village. Assuming it actually gets built, it may be followed by a street-legal two-seater model with "jet fighter-style" seating, in which the passenger sits behind the driver.