SCG’s Le Mans twin-turbocharged V8 engine roars to life for the first time

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is busily preparing its entry into the World Endurance Championship’s Le Mans Hypercar category. It released details about the engine that will power the car, which is called 007, and it reached a major milestone this month. SCG started the twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V8 for the first time.

French engine designer Pipo Moteurs developed the eight-cylinder. Equipped with a flat-plane crankshaft, it’s a short-stroke, low-revving engine tuned for maximum durability, according to The Drive, and it gives drivers a flat torque curve to play with. That means maximum torque is available over a broad range of engine revolutions. Oddly, artificial intelligence keeps the turbos spooled up regardless of whether the gas pedal is pressed.

Development work is ongoing, but the engine starts relatively easily, settles into a steady idle, and it sounds great doing it. Its output hasn’t been revealed yet, but the race regulations that SCG needs to comply with cap horsepower at 740. While the 007 was originally announced as a hybrid, the firm decided to ditch electrification in 2020. It said that using a gasoline-electric system would have made the car heavier and more complicated.

SCG will continue fine-tuning the V8, and it will begin testing the 007 in spring 2021. It will need to build at least 20 road-going versions to satisfy homologation rules, and each one will cost approximately $2 million.

Some of SCG’s future models will make a lot less noise than the 007. While racing is in the company’s blood, it’s increasingly turning its attention to hydrogen-powered drivetrains that will presumably whir rather than roar. One of the models it’s working on is a zero-emissions version of the Boot off-roader with a driving range of about 1,000 miles; it wants to race the Tesla Cybertruck in it. Another is a concept car-like supercar called 009.

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