Driving the Camaro SS Hybrid of the Future
How does a V8 hybrid Camaro work?
Virginia Tech is the only team that opted to use a V8 engine. Specifically, they opted for an all-aluminum, 5.3-liter L88 engine out of a Chevy Silverado. This L88 retains GM’s Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) system. Like every other competitor in the event, the L88 is flex-fuel capable and is fed a steady diet of E85 ethanol fuel. The engine is a junkyard score, something many LS1Tech readers can relate to. The team opted for the 5.3 because it’s inexpensive, durable, and readily available. It is a stock engine other than a rowdy exhaust system.
It is connected to a standard GM 8L90E automatic transmission. The hybridization comes via a trunk-mounted battery pack system, which weighs roughly 400 pounds. It is an A123 Systems unit, offering 12.6 kWh/118 kW of juice. All of that electricity powers a 100 kW (134 horsepower) electric motor. On the Virginia Tech car, this is what’s called a “P3” (position 3) setup, where the electric motor is plumbed in between the driveshaft and rear differential and helps power the rear wheels.