The London Motorsport Show at Excel that took place over the 8th and 9th of December featured a ‘Future of Motorsport Zone’, in which the main crowd puller was the Oaktec Honda Civic petrol-electric hybrid rally car.
The car even got the seal of approval from Nicky Grist, co-driver in the World Rally Championship between 1997 and 2002 for the late Colin McRae, who was giving presentations about the future of motorsport and associated careers to the next generation of budding McRaes.
The Honda Civic recently finished 6th in class at its competitive debut at the Glyn Memorial Stage Rally – even though it is exempt from the London Congestion Charge, both in the current and proposed forms of the charge.
The Oaktec Civic hybrid, along with the team’s Honda Insight hybrid rally car, is a project supported by EEMS, the UK Government’s Energy Efficient Motorsport initiative, which aims to promote a sustainable future for the UK motorsport industry by addressing the environmental issues of carbon and other toxic emissions and fuel energy wastage.
The Oaktec Honda hybrids are unique in the world of motorsport in that they retain the production cars class-leading ultra low exhaust emissions, whilst gaining a performance advantage by tuning the output of the electric motor in the hybrid drive. The cars are also unusual in that they retain the Honda CVT transmission, which makes them easier to drive in a competition environment.