Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do Sportscars and Hybrid contradict each other?

Among the car manufacturers to push for hybrid technology there are also a number of sportscar companies, i.e. Porsche, Ferrari and others. But, does the combination of a sportscar with hybrid engine technology really make sense? There are quite a number of reasons against it:
(1) Hybrid technology makes a car heavier, easily 50, but most commonly 100-150 kg extra weight. Weight is bad for handling and performance
(2) Hybrid technology only really makes a car save fuel if it allows to shift earlier or to run without the gasoline engine. However, the fun of driving a sportscar often comes with revving the engine and listening to the noise the car makes
(3) Driveability often suffers due to the effect when you use the electrical engine to slow down the car. This has also been a huge issue with KERS in formula 1.
Of course there are also a number of good reasons why adding hybrid technology to a sportscar can make sense, as for example the successful 997 GT3 Hybrid has shown or the future 918 spider will maybe illustrate, but I stay with my opinion that we should rather save weight and come up with simple efficient sportcars that are fun to drive!

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