Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid, more hyper-hybrids and some incremental economy improvements
May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Official lowdown on the plug-in hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder: production will begin at the end of September 2013, with deliveries by the end of next year; total power output around 770hp; average fuel consumption around 78mpg in Euro figures, suggest independent reports. It combines a 4.6-litre, eight-cylinder engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle, the other driving the rear wheels – to give a 25km all-electric range; hybrid, sport hybrid, race hybrid and ‘hot lap’ modes are selectable. Other features include a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic monococque body structure, adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and upward-venting exhaust top-pipes.
- Reminder on another hyper-hybrid: Ferrari chairman Luca de Montezemolo has confirmed the unveiling at the end of the year of “the new Enzo, a limited-series model and our first ever hybrid car.” V12 engine, two electric motors, the HY-KERS kinetic energy recovery system.
- Vauxhall/Opel is renewing its engine line-up in the next year with three all-new ‘families’ of petrol and diesel units. First to market will be a 200hp/300Nm SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) 1.6 turbo petrol with stop-start; claimed reduction in CO2 emissions over the 1.6T engine this replaces will be 13%. A tuned 280hp version of this will go into the Astra VXR this summer.
- New-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchbacks, on sale in Europe in September 2012, will see model-for-model fuel consumption reductions of up to 26%. All versions get stop-start; the A180 CDI gets down to 98 g/km CO2 and the A220 CDI is the first Merc to meet the 2015 Euro 6 emissions requirements. Full tech lowdown, facts and figures at Green Car Congress.
- Pope, Catholic, bears, woods etc: EVs converted from ICE vehicles aren’t as good as purpose-designed models, says Consumer Reports. This is in reference to manufacturer conversions, not DIY jobs; factors include packaging of the EV drivetrain components and battery packs, weight distribution and compromises to interior space and handling dynamics.