Hybrid is a Le Mans-winning technology

Hybrid is a Le Mans-winning technology

Posted by

Martin Brown

June 2015

What was that old motor racing saying? Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.

Yes, that was it.

I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore now that the racing formats have changed so what you see on the track isn’t so showroom recongnizable.

But I reckon Porsche’s victory at Le Mans this month – that great, French 24 hour endurance racing classic – can do a lot to promote greener driving.

Now, motor racing and green tech might seem oxymoronic – OK, I had to look that one up on my smartphone! – but actually green technology is driving forward motor racing.

The Porsche 919s that came first and second at Le Mans were hybrids.  However, it wasn’t just the winning cars that were hybrids, other cars in the top ten from Audi and Toyota also had hybrid two power sources.

So a Toyota Prius might seem nowhere near as exciting as a 200+mph racing car, but the basic technology is the same: the combination of an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine for increased efficiency – just what you need in an endurance racing car for speed and reduced fuel pitstops; and just what you need in a fleet car too, for reduced emissions, lower running costs and less exposure to benefit in kind taxation.

So what are my current fleet favourites in the hybrid category?

How about the Toyota Yaris Hybrid with CO2 emissions of around 75g/km? If you fancy something more luxurious – then there’s the Lexus CT200 h with 82g/km emissions.

Or perhaps an avant-garde French premium car, that’s got four-wheel drive on top of being a hybrid – so what about the renamed and face-lifted Citroen DS DS5 Hybrid 4×4 200 in Elegance trim, with 103g/km emissions?

Or if you need a crossover, there’s the individual looking Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 Active with its 82g/km emissions.

And if you want something more premium, then there’s always the Mercedes E300 (107g/km) and the BMW 5 Series ActiveHybrid (from 149g/km).

You might not go as swiftly as the Porsche 919 Le Mans winning car, but the technology will be delivering winning figures in the areas that matter to fleet.

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