In addition to a host of debatably better chassis modifications, 2009 Formula 1 cars now have regenerative brakes.
But don't think these cars will be using the stored energy to improve gas mileage. Although officials have been paying lip service about improving the environmentally-friendliness of the sport, this expensive (and potentially dangerous) advancement will most likely improve audience appeal.
According to Formula 1 Red Bull Team driver Sebastian Vettel, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System will deliver an extra 82 horsepower for 6.5 seconds.
Since new automotive technology typically trickles down from the racetracks, such as the paddle shifters now found in most performance cars, it's ironic that Formula 1 is copying technology found in a Prius 10 years ago.
But if there is a lesson to be learned in this advancement, it's that no one will pay money to watch a bunch of hybrids race around a track.