A baptism of fire for hybrid technology

10/12/17 / WEC / Technology

A baptism of fire for hybrid technology

High speed and high tech – the WEC combines both to a special degree; ‘efficiency’ being the magic word. Which team or manufacturer will come out on top? They’ll need to make the best use of the opportunities provided by the regulations and technology. At the moment there’s no more attractive or creative stage on which to demonstrate the innovative prowess of high-end hybrid sports cars. The season’s pinnacle event - the Le Mans 24 hour race – makes anything else pale in comparison. There, drivers are on the track four times as long as any other race in the season. Thanks to a complex set of regulations for the top category, LMP, which has been in effect since 2014, the fastest contender at Le Mans is also the most efficient one. Whoever covers the longest distance within 24 hours has extracted the maximum from a limited amount of fuel. Thanks to the major technological freedom when it comes to hybrid and powertrain technology, the manufacturers always surprise with ever-new innovation impulses while delivering thrilling on-track action in the process. This year, following a breathtaking comeback drive, Schaeffler’s partner, Porsche has won the Le Mans race for the third time in succession.

Ideal platform for Schaeffler

Efficiency, high tech and reliability: whether the WEC or Le Mans, it always comes down to these three things. They are the ‘in focus’ topics in automotive engineering, and so at Schaeffler too - where they’ll continue to be throughout the coming decades. The things that prove viable and win out in the world’s toughest races also proves themselves fit for use in production. The innovation-friendly regulations suit manufacturers and automotive suppliers like Schaeffler who aim to prove their technology expertise as well as the suitability of their visionary designs in front of large, global audiences.

The world’s toughest test laboratory

The fascination exuded by Le Mans. The iconic French endurance race demands maximum performance twice around the clock – both from humans and hardware, as well as from the engineers in the development laboratories. Many revolutionary technologies have undergone a baptism of fire at Le Mans and subsequently went on to become well established in volume production: streamlined body styles, light-weight design, disc brakes and hybrid drive to name just a few.