Supercars: P1, LaFerrari, 918
A hybrid powertrain doesn’t always mean that the car is going to be a bore to drive. In fact, at the latest Geneva Motor Show, two automakers proved that hybrid technology is a key player in high performance exotic cars too. Despite their green-creds, the gorgeous and fast McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari are the poster cars for a new generation.
In the LaFerrari, a 163 hp electric motor helps out an 800 hp V12 to blast the Italian exotic to 60 mph in less than three seconds. The electric motor’s battery is located under the floorboards, and is assembled in the same spot as the Ferrari Formula One team’s Kinetic Energy Regeneration System (KERS). Like other hybrids, the batteries can be recharged both under braking, but Ferrari has an extra trick that converts extra torque from the V12 to electricity to store in the car’s battery. It all sounds pretty awesome, but the Ferrari lacks the ability to drive under pure electric power, which means its MPG numbers might not be as impressive as its total output numbers. Not that anyone driving one will care. Only 499 LaFerrari’s will be made, each one costing about $1.3 million.
In contrast, the new McLaren P1 has an all-electric driving range of 12 miles, meaning you can take it to the corner-store and back without waking the neighbors. After that, the fury that is the twin-turbo V8 comes alive, working with the 176 hp electric motor to make a total of 903 hp. It blasts to 60 mph in three seconds, and is sure to be one of the fastest cars around your favorite race track. And after all that fun on the track, you can plug it in at home, and enjoy another 12 miles of emission free driving the next morning. Each car costs roughly $1.3 million and production is limited to 375 examples of the incredible supercar.
Finally there’s the Porsche 918 Spyder, which is a followup to the engineering marvel that is the Carrera GT. With electric motors at each axle, the Porsche is expected to make more than 795-hp, thanks to its V8 engine. It’s incredibly thrifty too, with a combined fuel economy rating of about 78 mpg, likely on the more lenient European standard. Expect it to come in under $1 million before ticking the option boxes.
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