Hybrid supercar is a lie, says Jalopnik

March 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

There’s a well-thought-out rant against the hybrid supercars at the Geneva Motor Show at Jalopnik – and some good points well made. The likes of the Ferrari 599 HY-KERS (pictured) and Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid aren’t going to save the planet at all, argues Matt Hardigree, and are just examples of corporate greenwashing.

He notes, rightly, that manufacturers are reducing their average emissions and fuel consumption anyway without introducing hybrids, and what’s the point of the Lotus Evora 414E when the Elise is already one of the lowest-impact sports cars around? Supercars are inherently indulgent and un-eco anyway, he says,  ‘cos they can’t carry many people, and making them appear greener by adding a hybrid system is just a fad and no radical change.

True enough – but supercar buyers want supercars, not MPVs, so serve ’em up in a less profligate form, I say. (The ostentatiously rich may well want an additional runaround as well – Aston Martin Cygnet? – but that’s another issue). And crucially, this is how the tech gets developed and proven for the mass market, as well as being a very effective way for it to hit the public consciousness.

The money and profits involved in the supercar sector enable the experimentation, the development of expensive systems, the extensive endurance testing, and all the necessary stages in bringing advancements – which will get progressively more radical – to market, where they can then filter down into the mainstream.

Essentially, the Ferrari buyer of today will be subsidising the owners of economical little Fiats next year, a rather pleasing notion, and indeed, Lotus has already confirmed that it’s in talks with a major volume manufacturer over licensing its range-extender hybrid powertrain as showcased in the 414E.

Greet these hybrid supercars with some scepticism, by all means, and don’t necessarily believe the hype, but it’s all progress.

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