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Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Panoz aiming for Le Mans return with electric Garage 56 entry

Panoz aiming for Le Mans return with electric Garage 56 entry

Entrepreneur Don Panoz, founder of the Panoz motorsport and sports vehicle brand, as well as the DeltaWing project, is back with yet another automotive startup, this time focused on electric auto development.

Panoz, who was a partner in the DeltaWing programme that took the innovative entry to Le Mans in 2012, said: "We want to be considered for Garage 56 and we have always lived up to what we said we are going to do".

More on this unveiling will follow later, with more information and details about the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, the first fully electric vehicle to try and take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Named the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, the fully electric race vehicle has been unveiled at the 24 Hours Le Mans Village. Christened the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, it is being developed at the company's design and engineering hub in Braselton, Ga. "Our goal is to run our auto in a race, perhaps even applying for a future Garage 56 slot, and apply what we learn to our Green4U EV vehicle designs".

For now, the initial targeted specifications are showing a total power varying between 536 and 603 horsepower coming from two electric motors - one driving the front axle and the other powering the rear wheels. In addition, the GT-EV will boast regenerative braking technology on all four wheels to recuperate the energy that would otherwise be lost. The companies also plan for the auto to have a top speed of roughly 180 mph and go 90 to 110 miles between battery changes at race pace. Officially called the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, the prototype has an expected battery range of 90-110 miles of range charge and will be capable of 180 mph.

Its primary goal is to match the speed and range of current petrol and hybrid racing machines using a single battery pack, before changing batteries in the same time it would take to refuel a conventional auto.

Perhaps the most unique part about the GT-EV is its tandem cockpit design, which features a narrow driver's compartment on the left, and space for a removable 1000-pound battery on the right. In addition, Green4U acquired Panoz LLC and Team Panoz Racing.

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