It seems like almost every week some supercar manufacturer is working on a new design or bringing a new car model (street legal or otherwise) to Nürburgring, hoping to master the track and leave crowned with a new lap time record. Global manufacturers have dedicated countless time and funds to the effort—but what if the next record-breaker comes from an entirely different source?
Take a look to the Technical University of Eindhoven and Fontys University of Applied Science. A team of students from both campuses have come together to create what they believe is a groundbreaking hybrid electric racing car, one they claim should be capable of beating the all-time Nürburgring record of 6 minutes 11 seconds, set back in 1983 by Stefan Bellof.
The prototype the students have engineered is dubbed the IM01, and is a bio-ethanol sports car concept. It’s not actually constructed yet, but various technologies will be tested in a pre-prototype test vehicle, the IM/e. This will include a regenerative braking system, four individual electric motors (one per wheel), and a rotary engine that will charge the onboard batteries.
So far, the students haven’t detailed aspects such as the power or performance rating. However, they have stated their intent to hold the engine to a fixed RPM and aim for 60% output efficiency. Quite ambitious to say the least!
The IM/e body is already molded and just awaits outfitting for initial proof-of-concept runs. Testing will occur throughout Germany and the UK on a wide variety of tracks and hill climb events. The main obstacle the team is seeking to overcome is finding a partner willing to fund the full effort.
This wouldn’t be the first hybrid car to pace the Nürburgring track. Nissan still holds the fasted hybrid lap time record with the ZEOD RC, with Audi’s R18 e-tron Quattron coming in a close second. Should the team succeed in conquering Nürburgring with their hybrid, they have a further goal of taking it to Le Mans and winning. Time will tell whether this particular dream ever makes the final leap off the drawing board.