Don Panoz this morning took the wraps off the latest project that has emerged from his uniquely left field empire. The GT-EV is a fully-electric GT racer that is targeted as an entry into the Le Mans 24 Hours as a Garage 56 project, capable of setting times competitive with the GTE cars at the circuit.
Along with Green4U Technologies, formed in 2016 to provide electric vehicles (EVs) and EV technologies, Panoz, aims for the designed concept to deliver performance and range similar to internal combustion engine and hybrid powertrain race cars and able to compete in long-distance endurance races.
Christened the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, the new car is being developed at the company’s design and engineering hub in Braselton, Ga.
“We’re debuting it here at Le Mans because of this iconic race’s history where the brightest and most ambitious and tenacious competitors always push the motorsports and automotive boundaries,” Don Panoz said. “We pushed the boundaries when we brought Sparky [the 1998 Panoz Q9 GTR-1 Hybrid] and the DeltaWing to Le Mans, and we’ll do the same with the all-electric GT-EV.
“Our goal is to run our car in a race, perhaps even applying for a future Garage 56 slot, and apply what we learn to our Green4U EV vehicle designs.”
Jack Perkowski, Green4U Technologies CEO and co-founder, added, “The development of an all-electric race car that can compete with the best internal combustion engine race cars places Green4U at the forefront of electric vehicle technology.”
The Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV team, led by Vice President of Engineering & Design Brian Willis, has outlined the race car’s initial design and performance targets:
• 400 to 450 kW total power
• 175 to 180 mph top speed
• Removable battery pack design enabling battery exchanges during pit stops
• 90- to 110-mile range in race conditions
• All-wheel drive with two electric motors (One driving the front wheels and the second powering the rear wheels)
• 2,200 to 2,750 lbs. total mass with battery pack
• Roughly 192 x 72 x 48 inches (L x W x H)
• A unique carbon fiber chassis design with an offset closed cockpit
• Active aerodynamics to reduce drag on straights and increase range and performance
• Regenerative braking technology on all wheels
“Our team is focused on achieving the speed and range of current road racing sports cars,” said Willis. “Key is the ability to go as far as petrol and hybrid race cars on the power contained in a single battery pack (above), then exchange the battery in about the time that it takes them to refill their tanks.”
Panoz considers the project to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of racing, and is an avid believer in ‘roots in racing’ and pioneering and proving innovative technologies through motorsports.
Green4U Technologies, Inc. also revealed renderings of its proposed street-legal sports car based on the GT-EV. Conceptualized by renowned car designer Peter Stevens, who has contributed to the design of many vehicles such as the Panoz Esperante GTR-1, the design features a unique two-passenger, jet fighter-style passenger compartment where the passenger sits behind the driver.