Formula One cars no longer use engines, they use “Power Units” that include a KERS hybrid system, and Mercedes wants the whole world to know it. That’s why they’ve renamed their Formula One car the F1 W05 Hybrid, and they’re released some pretty pictures to go along with the new name.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS, has become integral to the F1 series, with the standard combustion engine linked to a pair of electric motors that use recovered braking energy to boost the race car. So why slap on a hybrid sticker? To welcome a comparison between Mercedes’ racing efforts, and its production vehicles.
“What we are seeing in Formula One today is the next generation of innovations that will eventually find their way from the race track to the road. Mercedes-Benz is leading the way in promoting the positive new direction the sport has taken,” says Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff.
From here, Mercedes launches into a discussion about their earliest hybrid efforts, the 1907 Mercedes Mixte, which was powered by 55 horsepower gas engine sending power to wheel-mounted electric hub motors. Flashforward 107 years, and hybrids are now the the dominating factor on the Formula One field. So when will we see some of that sweet KERS tech in the Mercedes SLS AMG?
Maybe sooner than you think.