EcoCar 3 is a competition between 16 universities to design and build a Camaro with equal parts efficiency and performance. The program is part of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by GM and run by Argonne National Laboratory. The students will collaborate with GM, Bosch, and A123 engineers to design a sixth-generation Camaro that will be judged on performance, fuel economy, ease of manufacturing, serviceability, and price. Each team gets four years to deliver their best design for a price tag around $34,700.
One competitor is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and they have already released some details on their “Eco Super Sport” Camaro. They have chosen to go with a parallel-series hybrid drivetrain. This consists of two 70 kW electric motors connected inline to a 2.4 L LEA Ecotec inline-four from an Equinox. This direct injection engine is the E85 compatible variant of the LAF Ecotec and produces 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. Embry-Riddle selected an 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission from a Cadillac ATS-V which comes with a 2.85 final drive ratio.
The beauty of this setup is the different power options it offers. It can function in full-electric mode and the 18.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack gives the car about 40 miles of range. Or when the batteries run down the the engine can propel the car or power one electric motor while the other charges the batteries. The combo can also deliver some serious performance when in Sport mode. This setting will allow the engine and two motor work together to provide a combined 350 horsepower and 657 lb-ft of torque giving the Camaro a 0-60 mph of 4.9 seconds. Even with the extra 700 pounds this drivetrain adds to the factory V6 model’s base weight, Embry-Riddle estimates their Camaro will develiver a 53 MPGe rating.