F1 teams up with Torotrak

Torotrak have signed a licence agreement with a second Formula One customer for their mechanical kinetic energy recovery system


Torotrak have signed a licence agreement with a second Formula One (F1) customer for their mechanical kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).



The licence agreement will enable the team to use the full-torodial technology from the start of the 2009 season and allow the team to design, manufacture and assemble its own traction drive system or source its traction drive technology and hardware from Torotrak’s existing partners.



The mechanical KERS system uses flywheel technology to recover and store kinetic energy, otherwise lost when the vehicle brakes. The energy is received from the driveline through the Torotrak continuously variable transmission (CVT) unit as the vehicle decelerates, and is subsequently released back into the driveline, again through the CVT, as the vehicle accelerates.



Compared to the alternative of electrical-battery systems, the mechanical KERS system provides a significantly more compact, efficient, lighter and environmentally-friendly solution.



At the start of the 2009 season the FIA, F1’s governing body, are introducing rules to lower the environmental impact of the sport. They have defined the amount of energy recovery for the season as 400kJ per lap, giving the driver an extra 80hp over a period of 6.67 seconds.



‘A second major F1 team recognising the benefits of the mechanical KERS and utilising its ability to contribute to improved performance reinforces the growing belief that our mechanical system is the most efficient KERS option for F1,’ said Torotrak chief executive, Dick Elsy. ‘It further supports the opportunity for acceptance of Torotrak’s technology for use in mainstream road cars to provide improvements in performance, fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.’