The days when hybrids were nothing but geek mobiles are long over. A new generation of hybrid supercars tries to combine luxury and high performance with efficiency.
Porsche is leading the way with its 918 Spyder Hybrid; the supercar is a plug in hybrid that has an 887 horsepower engine. The 918 is also a true supercar with an $845,000 price tag and styling rivaling anything that Ferrari puts out.
Even Ferrari has jumped into the hybrid supercar market with its La Ferrari. The 950 horsepower supercar can run at speeds of up to 217 MPH, and it has a $1.35 million price tag to boot. Press reports indicate that only 499 La Ferraris are available, and every single one of them has been sold.
BMW is also planning its own hybrid supercar, the i8 Spyder Green. Buyers will have to wait until 2015 to see the i8 Spyder Green in show rooms. The i8 is designed as more of a supercar for the masses with a 1.5 liter turbocharged three cylinder engine capable of producing 302 pounds of torque. Like other hybrids, it’ll have an electric motor for city driving. If you want one, you’ll have to order it now because the car the Spyder Green is based upon, the i8 couple, is already sold out.
Status of Lamborghini Supercar Unknown
Not every supercar company is joining the hybrid race. Lamborghini has not unveiled any hybrids yet, but there’s a persistent Internet rumor that one is coming for 2015. Another equally unverified Internet rumor has it that the legendary Italian car maker is refusing to make a hybrid on principle.
The most likely scenario is that Lamborghini is waiting to see how well the La Ferrari sells. Since the La Ferrari is finding a market, there’s a strong possibility that a Lambo hybrid is just around the corner.
For those who cannot afford the 918 Spyder, Porsche is bringing out a cheaper hybrid, the Panamera S E-Hybrid sedan, which will sell for a mere $99,975.
The Panamera will have an electric motor and batteries that provide a 22-mile range for in-town driving. It’ll also have a gasoline powered V-6 to burn up the highways with. The V-6 engine can produce up to 416 horsepower and run at speeds of up to 167 MPH. Perhaps the biggest attraction with the Panamera will be a fast recharge. You can recharge it in less than hour at the push of a button, and, yes, it is a plug in.
It looks like hybrids have finally passed the final frontier—the supercar frontier. The only problem will be finding a market for them. Earlier models of hybrid sports cars have been a tough sell largely because of looks.
Traditional hybrid drivers want something ugly and geeky looking so everybody can see the sacrifice they’re making for the environment. They don’t want something cool looking and fast. People that want something fast and cool looking don’t necessarily want something environmentally efficient.
That might be beginning to change with the huge success of Tesla, which has proven that is there is a market for cool looking but ecofriendly cars. The interesting question we have to ask, though, is how eco-friendly is a vehicle that costs $1 million?
Energy efficiency, it seems, has arrived. Everybody, even the rich, wants to save the planet, if not money.