A HYBRID-engined Lola sports car could be competing in next year’s Le Mans 24-hours race, the Huntingdon-based company has revealed.

A HYBRID-engined Lola sports car could be competing in next year's Le Mans 24-hours race, the Huntingdon-based company has revealed.

Lola has been showing off a 'technology-ready' version of its 2011 Le Mans Prototype1 car this week to existing and potential customers. All they need to add is the engine.

The St Peter's Road company said its design team had developed installation techniques to accommodate KERS (kinetic energy recovery systems, such as have been used in Formula 1) and hybrid technologies into the Lola Coupe and in line with the 2011 regulations, to add to the remarkable total of 14 different engines that have powered Lola LMP cars since 2005.

Martin Birrane, chairman and owner of Lola Cars International Ltd, said; "Products such as these would usually only be available to major automotive manufacturers so I am delighted, once again, that we are able to bring the latest technology to our customers."

Although the initial hybrid engine kit is for a Derby-manufactured Zytek power-plant, the chassis could be adapted to accommodate hybrids from BMW, Toyota, Audi and others that could be modified for racing.

"We have had really good responses already, and there could be a hybrid Lola competing next year," said company spokesman Sam Smith.

"We have also been looking at electric power and hydrogen cells for endurance racing, but they could be a couple of years away still. These developments mean we can forge links with sustainable motorsport companies," he told The Hunts Post.