Ciao Bella: Part 1 – Italian F1 GP, V.Rossi’s GP bike, Alfa Giulia, and Magneti Marelli stuff!


Here is a storage module for the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which was debuted in Formula 1 back in 2008.

Here is a 50kW (67hp) TERS (Thermal Energy Recovery System) integrated motor generator.  This recovers heat energy from braking and exhaust to give hybrid racecars that extra horsepower and maintain turbo spool.  The TERS sits in between the cold and hot sides of the turbo, and is mated to the shaft.

Here is the well-known KERS, which debuted in 2008 in F1 testing and was used during the 2009 F1 season.  Magneti Marelli calls this unit the MGU-K, which simply is translated “motor generator unit – kinetic”.  This unit pictured here is used in the current turbocharged 1.6-liter F1 engine, which debuted in 2014.   Rated at 120 kW from the heat recovered from the braking energy, this translates to a whopping 160 hp on top of the combustion engine.

Between the years 2009 and 2013, not all F1 teams used KERS due to packaging constraints.  In fact, no one used it in 2010.  Back then, it was rated at half the kilowatts (60) and horsepower (80).  For 2014, with the increase of the F1 car’s minimum weight limit and decrease in engine size, all teams are using KERS.
Check out this video, showing the increase in acceleration between KERS and DRS (drag reduction system, which opens a flap in the rear wing to reduce drag) when Alonso in his 2013 Ferrari F1 car passes his teammate Felipe Massa down the front straight at Suzuka.  The KERS is activated when you see red color in that little lightning-bolt box start to go down.  That’s a 45 to 200 mph blast in 10 seconds, and these were the weaker 2.4-liter V8 cars that were limited to 18,000 RPM that year as opposed to the crazy 3.0-liter V10 cars that were spinning 19,000 RPM a few years prior!  And (while unrelated but still super impressive) this is all on 98 RON—or 93 octane, as seen in some lucky parts of the States—and then he has to brake.  Hard (with no parachute).  And then turn.  Ok I won’t get too off tangent with my admiration for F1 speed.

Back to Magneti Marelli, this type of hi-tech TERS and KERS stuff from the firm have allowed incredible performance levels to be generated in F1 cars today, which now been reduced to a tiny 1.6-liters.  They’re turbocharged, yes, but they’re also limited to a relatively low fuel consumption as well, all in efforts to make the sport greener.  Still, given their fuel-gulping, turbo-driven torque and high RPM usage, they manage to maintain minimal C02 levels and bring out a whopping 760 horsepower.  It’s a miracle they don’t break down more!

As mentioned earlier, Magneti Marelli is owned by Fiat, which also owns Ferrari.  So, it’s no surprise that a KERS unit found it’s way onto a Ferrari 599 concept car, when Ferrari debuted its “599 HY KERS” at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010.  We’re still a little ways out before seeing this on a street car, but there are companies testing this stuff as we speak.  And, why not, when you get 80-plus hp out of something that will potentially last the life of the car with no maintenance, be totally green, and weigh only a little over a hundred pounds?

Here is a Telematics unit for mobile connectivity using 4G technology. 

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