We’re just getting back on our feet from an incredible Black Friday sale – thank you to our wonderful customers. You guys (and gals) are amazing!! We never imagined our sale would be so large and it was incredibly motivating to see that there is so much interest in MPP products. Thank you, we will push even harder in 2020!
In addition to developing new products for the Model 3, we’ve been working on development of ultra high-performance EV applications, and the latest one is the addition of an electric motor to convert our already record-setting Nissan 350z racecar to a hybrid system.
We’ve posted about this car a little bit before on our Instagram page among a few other areas, and it will soon find its way to being considered one of our MPP Project Cars – as Kels, the name of this 2003 Nissan 350z racecar, which I have owned and raced since 2008.
Using a Phi-Power racing motor, an inverter from Cascadia motion, and all of the software development done in house here at MPP using MoTeC electronics, we are adding approximately 200 horsepower to a platform that already makes 500 horsepower (thanks to an incredible engine build from our friends at Jim Wolf Technology) and is one of the, if not the fastest naturally aspirated time attack cars in North America.
The main focus of this project has been the reduction and rearwards transfer of mass. As the car has gotten lighter over the years, most of that weight has come out of the rear of the car. At the same time the car has gotten more and more power, and the combination of higher power RWD, with extreme front weight (57% front weight!) makes the car extremely aero dependent and very poor at putting power down on low-speed corners.
This hybrid system removes the clutch, flywheel, starter, and alternator from the front of the vehicle, and in its place is installed a single lightweight motor. All other components, including a BMW i8 battery, are placed near the rear axle or slightly behind it.
The end result will be a weight distribution closer to 51% front (48% front would be the ideal goal), and an addition of approximately 200 horsepower for a few laps for a time attack event, and a KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) system that can recover energy in all braking zones to charge the battery.
The development and integration of all systems has been done in house at MPP, and this is a project we’ve been designing and working on for almost a year now. Through 2019 we’ve raced the car using the core of our hybrid system software – running in the background, and we’ve also been designing all of the components to mount the motor, and interface with the engine and transmission.
The time has finally come where the motor is bolted up to the engine, the software is functional and the system is alive with high voltage!
Today we actually re-installed the fuel cell in the vehicle and ran the gasoline engine and hybrid motor at the same time.
While EV conversions are difficult and require a number of systems to be safe and efficient, it could be argued that a hybrid system is orders of magnitude more complex as the two powertrains need to be smoothly integrated.
The car has 3 different drive modes: EV, Gasoline and Hybrid. The motor also acts as an engine starter when the vehicle is in Neutral to allow for warming of the gasoline engine.
There are multiple torque request and regen maps that factor in things like battery state of charge, driver selected map positions, vehicle speed, engine rpm, wheel slip, lateral G, brake pressure, gear shift system state and more.
Isolation management is implemented with a display on the MoTeC dash along with lights on the side of the car to indicate if the vehicle has a high voltage isolation break-down.
There’s an almost limitless amount of exciting nerd level stuff going into this build and we’d love to share it all with you, but it’s simply too much. Below you’ll find some videos that cover the progress so far, and we will make a separate post and video once the car is on the dyno!
We plan to have the car out at multiple Canadian and USA events in 2020, so if you’re in the northeast be sure to reach out and hopefully you can see Kels in action. Video simply can’t do the sound of this machine justice. It needs to be seen!
Thank you again to all of our incredible customers for your support. When you purchased products from MPP, you’re helping fund development like this and we think this sort of thing is really important, and not something that should only be left to large companies.