Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
204 mph world record for electric car, another Le Mans win for diesel (extremetech.com)
41 points by Libertatea 1572 days ago | hide | past | web | 25 comments | favorite

204 mph is very impressive for an off the shelf Lola chassis. Though more slippery than an open wheel car, the Lola is has a HUGE frontal area. I bet the delta wing guys are looking at this and will have a go at the EV record. Their car is lighter, has a lower cd and backing from Nissan(think Leaf).

For those of you that have not seen the delta wing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeltaWing

To me the Original Delta Wing was nothing special. it proved that you could build a race car with a smaller engine and lighter weight, and turn close to the same speed, that a car with a larger engine and heavier weight(defined by the regs) following a rigid set of rules could run. To me the far more impressive achievement was by Audi actually building a hybrid system that could run for 24 hours driven flat out.

I agree totally. I guess the point I was trying to make is that the delta wing as a top speed breaking EV is a much better body shape for straight run events. If Drayson really wanted all out speed for the record, he would have designed a purpose built car and not just use a chassis he ran over here in ALMS. I have seen the skin off the delta wing and believe me, it is not a hi-tech gem, just a different philosophy.

For those interested in the engineering behind the latest sports cars, check out the news section of this site.


With out a doubt.

My understanding is that the key drawback for diesel engines in cars was emissions (at least here in the states). Other than that, they seem to be more efficient and reliable than gasoline engines.

Adding in flywheel regenerative storage seems like this would be a hybrid model pursuing (which VW/Audi is doing, IIRC).

IIRC it was particulates that have been the primary problem for diesels. With modern engines and exhaust systems, I suspect diesel cars could be a success in the US. For a year I was driving a VW Golf TDi and absolutely loved the car. Fantastic efficiency (5.5 L/100km city, 4.5-5 L/100km highway) combined with plenty of power and a good transmission made for an awesome driving experience.

In Europe, diesel is usually cheaper than petrol though the reverse is true in the US. From what I saw last December, price differences of $0.50/gallon weren't very unusual. If the price comes down, I think diesel would quickly become a no-brainer decision for car buyers.

Europe values different air quality values than some of the states do. Then there are memories of the Oldsmobile diesels which sealed the fate of diesel passenger cars in the US.

Current diesels, having owned a Golf and now a Beetle convertible with one, are very clean, still efficient, and even fairly quiet. You could sit behind my car when I start it or its running and not detect a scent of diesel. In fact it can be less offensive than some gasoline cars.

Still I drive in a world of public buses and commercial dump trucks that just pump plumes of black stuff into the air. Makes it hard to sell to the average consumer.

That is changing, besides VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche (see the pattern), Jeep will have a Grand Cherokee with a diesel, Chevrolet has a diesel version of the Cruze, and Mazda will have a 6 with one as well.

In my case I wanted a fun to drive car, its a convertible, that got very good mileage. All the hybrids to me are penalty boxes. So when I saw VW was going to offer a convertible with the efficiency that a diesel belongs I jumped at it.

Fuel regulations were a big part; you could not buy ultra low sulfur diesel until 2005-2006 in the USA, so passenger cars had a very hard timing meeting emissions.

I don't think the price of diesel is coming down in the USA relative to gasoline. The USA already uses lots of diesel in its trucking networks; switch the entire public to diesel and it's only getting more expensive.

One thing I've wondered about is why diesel is so much more expensive in the US than Europe (relative speaking)? As you mentioned, there is a LOT consumed by the trucks so it can't be a question of scale. Or even if it is, the US has massive refinery capabilities so it seems that supply should be able to meet the demand.

I should note, I had the Golf in Australia.

The problem was primarily particulates, and that has been taken care of.

Most diesel cars now have a separate urea tank which functions as after treatment. Others (primarily trucks) use exhaust gas recirculation instead so that they don't have to maintain two fluid tanks.

I'm quite a car nerd, and generally when people come to me asking whether they should get a Prius, I typically ask them about their driving habits. I live in San Diego, where there are lots and lots of freeways, so diesel cars do really well here and I often recommend them. Hell, the newer Audi diesels are quite good performance-wise as well (torque for days! woohoo!!)

…[automotive diesel engines] seem to be more efficient and reliable than gasoline engines.

About 20% more efficient. If you look at L/100km or mpg you might say 40%, but diesel fuel has more energy by volume.

Reliability is a bit suspect too. Old indirect injection diesels could be fixed with a rock and a hammer, the new stuff is way less tolerant of any mistreatment.

We own a diesel 2012 bmw which requires diesel exhaust fluid. If it runs out of fluid (which can happen on a road trip) the vehicle will refuse to start.

Extra maintenance is certainly present.

Old indirect injection diesels could be fixed with a rock and a hammer

Or, in a pinch, two rocks

* Less energy by volume, I thought

More is correct according to the US energy information administration [http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=9991]. Only about 10% more though according to their graph

I don't even think emissions is much of a drawback these days due to catalytic converter technology. Much of the particulate emissions from diesels you see is from either older ones (pre 2000ish big rigs) or from modified ones (F250s with chips to improve performance). In the States I think there is just a great deal of bad stereotypes around them due to a lot of the attempts at passenger cars in the 70s.

Cats don't improve particulate. Urea capture systems are needed for that.

This is also what F1 has done. Toyota I believe is using capacitors not a flywheel in Le Mans.

Now that emissions have largely been overcome, through improvements in technology and available fuel, there are two main obstacles- complexity and public perception. Diesel is getting much more complicated as it tries to combat pollution, and it has a bad reputation in the USA.

The exciting thing is gasoline engines are starting to incorporate the best aspects of diesel engines. For example, direct injection and combustion shaping are allowing higher and higher compression ratios and leaner burns.

the amount of bouncing that electric was undergoing @ 200mph gave me the chills.

I'm more excited about the jaguar at the bottom of the page. If I understood their article correctly, and if this http://www.unitjuggler.com/convert-fuelconsumption-from-gper... is to be trusted at all, then at 10k rpms, that engine is pushing 61mpg. That's just ... ludicrous, and in, what I find to be, a very attractive package.

Unfortunately Jaguar has [cancelled the C-X75](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_C-X75#Cancellation). Only 5 prototypes are made. Nonetheless it's a technological tour de force and I hope the technology will trickle into other cars.

That link format works on reddit, but here you'll be better off with references. [0]

[0] http://www.google.com

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact