I'll freely admit that I'm not too technically-inclined when it comes to this sort of thing. The feasibility and practicality of making something like this work I'll leave to those more knowledgeable. However...this does seem quite significant.
I think it is an inescapable fact that the lack of engine noise from electric cars, particularly in a motorsport environment, is still a big issue for quite a few people. Particularly if more and more championships start making the switch to electric power in the next few years, I can see it becoming more and more of a talking point. We saw the reaction F1's switch to V6Ts got - well, say if NASCAR or some other series went electric, the response would surely be even worse than that. It's something that's going to become an increasing problem - how series can ensure their survival and remain relevant, whilst also not switching off a large percentage of their traditional fans.
So, if there was a way to retain some engine noise, whilst also ensuring the engines are much cleaner/environmentally friendly - as would appear to be the case here - then surely that's the best of both worlds. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on how this develops.
On combustion, as I said, I think there's going to be enough people who will relate to and engage with the 'traditional' way of going racing for a while yet. It won't completely disappear so long as it's not outright banned, and to get to that point it would probably need the general public opinion of combustion motor racing to fall as low as that of bloodsports - which if it can exploit some of the 'carbon neutral' technologies like hydrogen combustion or 'sustainable fuels' doesn't seem so likely. For example, Formula One knows that it will have to rely on combustion to do the kind of racing that its fans know and love and so has started their sustainable fuels plan to try and avoid popular opinion turning against them. That has to be seen as a positive development for the sport.
About noise...I've said it before that we rarely hear perspectives from outside the traditional fanbase. We shouldn't let survivorship bias creep into this debate around noise if we're to understand the real impacts; how many people don't watch the traditional combustion sport because of the noise who are already (or could be game for) watching electric racing... and who's input, almost by definition, so rarely features in these discussions or in fan surveys.
Ultimately, I think it's a logical fallacy for anyone to use the opinions from exclusively within the existing fanbase to suggest (directly or indirectly) that motorsport only has the popularity it has because of the noise and that the sport will fundamentally struggle to survive without it. I simply cannot accept the assumption that more purely electric racing series in the mix is going to be a problem for the sport's ultimate survival based on both reason and experience. Conversely, and certainly in the near term, I rather more see it as an opportunity to bring more numerous and diverse fans into the sport we love.
Realistically, we're heading into an era in which both combustion and electric powertrain technologies will have to exist concurrently and in which sustainability is a common core focus. It's probably not the most constructive pathway for the sport to be at war with itself about that and become adversarial about which technology needs to 'win' an imagined battle for the soul of the sport.
Edited by Ben1445, 06 May 2021 - 07:31.