The use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) have been banned as part of the 2017 technical regulations for the Autobacs Super GT Series’ GT500 class.
The 2017 GT500 regulations, which were first documented last week, now no longer permit KERS to be used on the top class machines – meaning it is unlikely we will see another hybrid-powertrain GT500 challenger for a significant period of time.
KERS was last used in the Honda NSX Concept-GT from 2014 to 2015, but Honda elected to remove the system after two seasons due to the additional weight, overheating and reliability issues, and poor balance that outdid the car’s theoretical extra power and speed.
To recap the rest of the changes to the cars to reduce downforce: The height of the rear diffuser has been reduced from 206 millimeters to 101 mm (diagrammed below), the width of the rear wing is increased from 1,390 mm to 1,900 mm, effectively making the low-downforce spoiler used at Fuji Speedway the spec spoiler for all tracks, and the front splitter length has been reduced from 100 mm to 50 mm.
Also, the maximum height of the rear bumper of the car will be reduced as well, from 400 mm to 195 mm.
The first look at the 2017-spec GT500 cars will come when Lexus and Toyota reveal their new GT500 challenger, which is all but certain to be based on the LC500 flagship luxury coupe, at a press conference at Suzuka Circuit on August 26 at 11:00 AM JST (2:00 AM GMT).