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Panoz Unveils GT-EV; Targets Garage 56 Entry

Panoz, Green4U unveil all-electric GT-EV for possible Garage 56 program…

Photo: Panoz

Panoz and Green4U Technologies unveiled an all-electric race car concept at Le Mans on Thursday morning, which could run as a Garage 56 entry in the future.

The car is designed to deliver a similar level of performance and range to an internal combustion engine or hybrid race car, with the ability to compete in long-distance races.

Don Panoz was present in the Le Mans village on Thursday to reveal the concept, christened the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV.

The car is being developed at the company’s base near Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

“We’re debuting it here at Le Mans because of this iconic race’s history where the brightest and most ambitious and tenacious competitors always push the motorsports and automotive boundaries,” Panoz said.

“We pushed the boundaries when we brought Sparky (the 1998 Panoz Q9 GTR-1 Hybrid) and the DeltaWing to Le Mans, and we’ll do the same with the all-electric GT-EV.”

While no concrete plan for the car’s future has been confirmed, Green4U CEO and co-founder Jack Perkowski explained that a future Garage 56 entry is a possible target.

“Our goal is to run our car in a race, perhaps even applying for a future Garage 56 slot, and apply what we learn to our Green4U EV vehicle designs.” Perkowski explained.

“The development of an all-electric race car that can compete with the best internal combustion engine race cars places Green4U at the forefront of electric vehicle technology.”

Vice President of Engineering and Design Brian Willis has stated that the car will be capable of producing 400 to 450 kW of power with a top speed of up to 180 mph.

It has a removable battery pack which will be swapped during pit stops, and has a range of 90-110 miles in race conditions.

Two electric motors, one on each axle, will power the car in an all-wheel-drive configuration.

“Our team is focused on achieving the speed and range of current road racing sports cars,” said Willis.

“Key is the ability to go as far as petrol and hybrid race cars on the power contained in a single battery pack, then exchange the battery in about the time that it takes them to refill their tanks.

Green4U has also revealed plans to develop a road-legal sports car based on the GT-EV, which will feature a two-passenger design in which the passenger sits directly behind the driver.

The road car idea has been conceptualized by Peter Stevens, the car designer behind the Panoz Esperante GTR-1.

It is understood that the project does not yet have the backing of the ACO for a Garage 56 entry although Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil has indicated that it could be a possible future candidate.

“We still need to evaluate the project,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365. “They are a candidate to Garage 56 but we have to prove and this is under evaluation.”

No Garage 56 entry will take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, but Beaumesnil has confirmed that the ACO hasn’t given up on the initiative, stating they have “many contracts” under consideration.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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