Geneva Set for Speedy Hybrids

Geneva Set for Speedy Hybrids

The upcoming 2010 Geneva Motorshow, due to take place from March 4th-14th, will provide a much-needed shot in the arm for the image of hybrid cars as it focuses primarily on the theme of ‘green speed’. The cars slated for appearances at the show are set to focus on fuel economy without sacrificing one iota of horsepower. These new hybrid ideas will give a real insight as to where the hybrid car industry might be heading, and it looks as though performance, aesthetics and fuel economy are top of the list to overhaul the rather worthy and dowdy image of hybrid cars.
 
First up, Mercedes will showcase its new F800 Style plug-in hybrid car, featuring as it does a 10kWh battery pack and an ability to motor for up to 18 miles on electricity alone. It is questionable, however, whether this would be attainable at the vehicle’s full acceleration capacity of 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and its maximum speed of 155 miles per hour. With its total horsepower of around 400 Mercedes has estimated that the car will have an average fuel economy of around 80 miles per gallon. The car also features such new concepts as compact battery packaging along with motor and fuel batteries in order to ensure that internal car space will accommodate up to five passengers comfortably. There will also be a “traffic jam assist” that allows for hands-free motoring at low speeds. The car would also have the capacity to be equipped as a fuel cell vehicle, and appears that it might be Mercedes hybrid version of its stylish S-Class range.
 
p911gt2Next, Porsche is slated to unveil their 2010 911 GT2 Hybrid racing car, which features all-wheel drive. Porsche plan to make the vehicle a kind of guinea pig to discover how hybrid models function under racing conditions. The 911 GT2, rather than being a gas-battery hybrid, is actually a gas-flywheel hybrid which utilize dedicated motors for brief spurts of acceleration. Such spurts deliver some 120 kilowatts (around 161 horsepower) to the front wheels and come on top of the car’s 480 hp 4.0-litre flat six that provides power to the car’s rear wheels. The flywheel itself employs the available energy by means of the driver pressing a button set into the steering wheel, and the makers say that this allows for more rapid acceleration out of corners and when overtaking another vehicle.
 
lampoThe Switzerland-based Protoscar also returns to the Show, and unveils an upgrade of its Lampo model first seen at last year’s Geneva Show. The new model uses two electric motors along with a 30 kWh battery pack which affords the car four-wheel drive allowing also for variable torque between the front and rear axle. The car also demonstrates a rapid-charging system that provides an extra 60 miles of travel potential after only a ten-minute charge. This rapid charging could provide a real positive change for the use of consumer electric cars.
 
psr1Peugeot will also be at Geneva showcasing a hybrid vehicle that is perhaps much closer to reality than most. Their sleek three-seater SR1 has a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor at 95 horsepower powering the rear. The system also utilizes nickel-based instead of lithium batteries and should go into production next year. It should be capable of acceleration of 0-60 in under 4.7 seconds and could deliver a top speed of 155 miles per hour. In terms of fuel economy it is slated to deliver around 50 miles to the gallon.

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