The Patriot Gas-Electric Hybrid Race Car Concept was designed to race in the 24 Hours of LeMans. It was built as a 'rolling test bed' to explore the possibilities of using hybrid technology in grueling endurance racing and to cope with the mechanical demands of high-speed, long-distance competition.
Powering this prototype was an electric hybrid motor fueled by liquefied natural gas. There is a two-stage gas turbine engine that powered alternators that generated alternating current to power an electric traction motor that drove the car. The flywheel, which spun at 58,000 revolutions per minute, stored engine to boost acceleration.
The car was designed and built to comply with regulations set forth by the Automobile Club d'Ouest, the LeMans sanctioning organization. The Patriot weighed in at 1600-pounds, had a open-cockpit carbon fiber monocoque, and a slew of engineering technology.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2010
Sadly, the car had two catastrophic failures during dynamometer testing convincingly demonstrated that flywheel technology was not practical for automotive applications.