A1 Grand Prix organisers are designing a new car that will bring their series in line with Formula One power outputs.

The series is pressing ahead with plans for a completely new car design for the 2008/09 season, capable of delivering up to 200bhp more than the current 550bhp design.

The current A1 GP car design was only supposed to be in place for the first three seasons of the "World Cup of Motorsport" before it was evaluated for the longer term.

A1 GP organisers have confirmed that, with current partners Lola and Zytek, they are developing a new car with an alternative aerodynamics package and more powerful engine.

Formula One V8 engines currently produce in the region of 750bhp, which means that A1 GP will then be in the same approximate power band. Currently, the 3.4 litre Zytek engines output less power than a GP2 car.

"We are looking at a bigger car with bigger wheels - we want to make it the ultimate racing car in terms of speed, obviously taking safety into account," said series deputy chairman Tony Teixeira.

"We have the time to develop a nice car. It's a three-year project and we are working with out partners, Zytek, Lola and Cooper to come up with the right product.

"Obviously as we get to the right design we will decide whether we are going to put out to tender the final design and production, and find out whether we have what we need or whether we need new guys.But what we have done is made a commitment to have to a bigger car.

"If we go that route without all the gizmos and without all the traction control then the drivers will rave about really driving a racing car. You want the drivers to sell to others driving that racing car. They have to want to drive it for their country."

Lola Cars Managing Director, Rupert Manwaring said of the plans: "We are kept fully in touch with A1 GP's future plans and at this stage they look very exciting indeed. The first A1 GP car has proved to be exciting, safe and reliable and we as a company delivered exactly what A1 GP initially wanted. That is our business."

"As regards to the future then I am sure that our engineers will be chomping at the bit to be involved in a car with more power,” continued Manwaring. “With all the world class facilities that we have here at Lola, we would look forward to producing something very special indeed. I am sure the A1 GP car will keep evolving in to a very spectaular prospect and that the series will continue to be successful."

A1 GP organisers frequently play down comparisons between themselves and Formula One and Teixeira refuted suggestions that this would make A1 GP more of a Formula One rival.

"The Formula One comparison doesn't worry me," he added. "We are the World Cup of Motorsport. Formula One is Formula One. We obviously will always say that we are complimentary to that and they are complimentary to us. We don't want to be quicker than F1 or anything else."

A more powerful car also raises concerns of drivers from less-established motorsport nations not being able to cope with the uprated power. Teixeira was not concerned by that prospect however.

"We believe by then that the drivers from all these countries will be a lot more experienced," he added. "With all the training they will have they will be able to handle a car like that.

"If we stay where we are the drivers will eventually say that this is getting boring. They have until 2008 to find the talented drivers and you are going to develop them."

Form more information, please visit www.a1gp.com

A1GP will be introducing a new spec Lola-designed car...
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...with more power too.
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The A1GP cars proved a big hit in their first season with excitement at every race.
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The concept of cars racing for their nations was also much appreciated by the fans.
(Picture a1gp.com)