Among the many luxury automakers getting in on the green game is Aston Martin, which debuted a hydrogen-powered Rapide earlier this year at the Nurburgring. Next up for Aston Martin is installing solar panels onto its Vantage GT race cars to power…the air conditioning?
It’s a small move, I’ll grant you, and air conditioning may seem like a luxury item in a race car, but have you ever been crammed into the hot confines of a racing machine for hours on end? Didn’t think so. It gets hot, and the air conditioning system can be pretty power intensive, which is why Aston aligned itself with Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group to install thin solar panels on the roof of the Vantage GTE endurance race car.
Though the system wasn’t operation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it will be ready to go at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, a place known for sometimes reaching triple-digit temperatures. The solar panels could make a difference on a particularly hot day with the A/C blasting and the engines sucking in nothing but hot air.
It’s as close as we’re going to get to a solar-powered Le Mans race car for sometime. I’ll take it.