Hybrid cars are gradually gaining steam in the global automotive market not just because they are environment friendly but also because they offer a good mix of power and performance. Manufacturers are slowly working on bringing hybrid car models for the common man, but for the Richie rich’s an ordinary hybrid car just doesn’t make the cut. They want supercars that will make them and their garages stand apart from their counterparts, and also pacify their conscience that their cars aren’t adding to the already increasing global pollution; all of this without compromising on power, speed and looks. Hybrid cars come with petrol engine which get additional power from an electric motor, enabling them to deliver mind numbing power along with reduced fuel consumption. One pretty much gets the best of both worlds when driving a hybrid supercar. The list of hybrid supercars is not long; there are a handful of these in production and mind you they will blow you away not just with their jaw dropping looks, but also their performance figures. Here goes
1. La Ferrari: In Italian it literally means ‘The Ferrari’. It is the most powerful, lightest and fastest of hybrid supercars in production, and being a Ferrari it has a drool quotient of 99! Only 499 of these will be made. La Ferrari is loosely based on the Ferrari Berlinetta and features a 6.3 litre V12 engine the dishes out 800bhp from the petrol engine and an additional 163 bhp from the electric motor, taking the totally power tally to an astounding 963 bhp. The power for the petrol engine as well as the electric motor is directed to the rear wheels. It is also the only V12 hybrid engine in existence.
2. Porsche 918 Spyder: When the Porsche launched the 918 Spyder the world took notice for two reasons – one, it was a hybrid supercar and two, it was drop dead gorgeous (drool quotient 100) It’s engineering set-up was as maddening as its looks with not one, but two electric motors mated to the petrol engine. One motor transfers power to the front wheels, while the other motor in conjunction with the 4.6 litre V6 petrol engine drives the rear wheels. The total power output of the 918 Spyder is 887 bhp, with 279 bhp supplied by the two electric motors alone and 608 bhp by the engine.
The 918 is produced in only the left hand drive variant and is the only hybrid supercar with a foldable roof. Though one of the heavier hybrid supercars, it crosses 200kmph in 7 seconds and has set a record of lapping the Nurburging in six minutes 57 seconds.
3. McLaren P1: The McLaren P1 was conceptualized around the same time as the McLaren MP4-12C; the latter held the helm of the fastest production car for the longest time, until the Bugatti Veyron overtook it. The P1 has an engine similar to the one seen on the MP4-12C – a 3.8 litre V8 twin turbo along with an electric motor which produces a power of 175 bhp. Combined, the V8 engine and the electric powertrain the P1 deliver a stagger power of over 900 bhp and completes the dash from 0-100kmph in 2.5 seconds. Lightning fast is the word that defines it performance specs. Not just that, coming from a brand that makes F1 cars, the P1 comes with KERS system, enabling it to get that additional boost of power at the tap of a button. The P1 is a rear wheel drive car and all the power from the engine and the electric motor is sent to the rear wheels. Only 350 units of the McLaren P1 have been made so far.
4. BMW i8: The BMW i8 is best remembered as the car Tom Cruise cruised in on Mumbai streets in the movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It is a futuristic looking supercar that will ensure it makes heads turn no matter where you are. Sporting a 1.5 litre three cylinder engine (BMW’s first) that delivers 237bhp of power along with an electric motor(that has been designed and developed by BMW from scratch) that churns 129 bhp, together the BMW i8 deliver a power of 360 bhp, which may sound less on paper to you, but the highlight of this machines is that it is the most fuel-efficient hybrid supercar in production. The electric motor alone is capable of reaching a top speed of 120kmph, so you can be assured that once combined with the petrol engine it will deliver a nice punch. The i8 hits from 0-100kmph in 4.4 seconds and is capable of delivering a fuel economy of 20kmpl, which is way more than any other supercar that you can own. There’s a lot of oooh and aaah- going on about the BMW i8 as not only its exteriors, but also its interiors are futuristic looking giving you a feel of being cocooned in a space ship. Indian Richie rich’s can be delighted about owning this beauty as it will be launched in India next month.