2006 Vemac RD408-H

2006 Vemac RD408-H

September 25th 2006-With Audi’s recent diesel victory, it seems like 2005 may have been the last gasoline-powered win at LeMans. This observation is even further reinforced with the introduction of the Vemac RD408-H, one of the world’s first hybrid racing cars.

What makes the RD408-H interesting is its hybrid electric/gasoline engine which was developed by Tokyo R&D. It mates the current Mugen MF408S V8 to twin Pues liquid-cooled, direct current, electric engines. These form a compact unit that is sandwitched between the V8 and upgraded transmission. As a result, the V8’s power is doubled and the available torque rasies to 686 ft lbs (930 nm)[email protected]

The first car to be equipped with a Mugen hybrid engine is a Vemac RD408 which might contest the upcoming 2007 season of the GT300 category in Japan’s Super GT series, that is, if the officials let it pass scrutinizing. Four similar Tokyo R&D Vemacs have raced the series for the last two years, albeit with the standard MF408S engine and the CB32 inline-6 from the Acura NSX.

While Zytek paved the way with their Panoz NiMH hybrid in 1998, Tokyo R&D’s new engine might have the initial success needed to motivate future development. Maybe we will see a hybrid Honda sports racing prototype sooner than we thought.

2006 Vemac RD408-H 2006 Vemac RD408-H 2006 Vemac RD408-H 2006 Vemac RD408-H 2006 Vemac RD408-H 2006 Vemac RD408-H

In Detail

typeRacing Car
built atJapan
engineMugen V8 w/Twin Pues Electric Engines
positionMid Longitudinal
fuel feedDirect Injection
displacement4000 cc / 244.1 in³
power596.6 kw / 800 bhp
specific output200.0 bhp per litre
bhp/weight680.85 bhp per tonne
torque930 nm / 685.9 ft lbs
driven wheelsRWD
front tires330/680-18
rear tires330/710-18
curb weight1175 kg / 2590 lbs
length4610 mm / 181.5 in
width1995 mm / 78.5 in

Above Images ©IMAGE CREDITS – Akio Katouno