Ferrari and McLaren unveil hybrid supercars

Mar 06, 2013 by Colleen Barry
People look at the new McLaren P1 during the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Switzerland, Monday, March 4, 2013. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 7 to 17. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Hybrids aren't just for fuel economy any more. Ferrari and McLaren both on Tuesday unveiled sleek hybrid supercars sculpted from carbon fiber at the Geneva Motor Show.

LaFerrari is the name of the new special edition Ferrari, meant to be the definitive. "Owners say they have a Ferrari," Chairman Luca di Montezemolo said. "This is THE Ferrari." Montezemolo said the electric engine has a performance appeal that is proving a draw to Ferrari owners.

Only 499 of the models will be built—and some 700 people, many of them Ferrari owners already, have registered interest meaning a tough selection process. It has a top speed in excess of 350 kilometers per hour (217.4 mph). The price tag: €1 million ($1.3 million).

Designer Flavio Manzoni said the engineering and design teams worked together from the start to ensure maximum performance.

Sculpted from , in a glittery racing yellow set off by hash-marked slate gray, the McLaren P1 cuts a racetrack figure while boasting superior—for its class—emissions under 200 grams per kilometer. That compares with over 300 grams/kilometer for a super car without hybrid.

People look at the new McLaren P1 during the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Switzerland, Monday, March 4, 2013. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 7 to 17. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

P1 program director Paul McKenzie says the has performance advantages because the electric engine fills in the gap before the turbo engine kicks in. It's a tiny effect, but everything counts in supercars.

The P1 can do 0-180 mph (0-300 kph) in under 17 seconds. It sells for $1.3 million, with just 375 in the series.

Porsche is also driving the trend, showing at Geneva the 918 Spyder that debuted three years ago as a . The car is slated to go on sale this year at a price tag of €650,000 ($870,000).

Toyota, the world's leader in technology with 5 million sales since 1997, welcomed the supercar entries to the market.

"If people start falling in love with hybrids, and if it's a Ferrari or a Porsche, it is great. It is going to help hybridization," said Toyota Europe executive Karl Schlicht.

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NikFromNYC
1 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2013
The real value of electric cars is here revealed: adult toy status symbols in an age of stupid. But how far will you go at 100MPH in this cartoon car? A French Ferrari indeed! To add a little electric motor whose systems double the physical design complexity of an 800 horsepower 12-cylinder engine in order not to improve performance but to reduce emissions that any engineer looking at a few old thermometer or tide gauge records can see represents a junk science fad makes me look forward to a proper backlash to all this utter nonsense.
italba
3.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2013
These are NOT electric neither hybrid cars! These are "normal" gasoline cars with a kers system, as in F1 races. Obviously you save some gas with it, but this is not its main use. The 163 HP it can give for a few seconds (NikFromNYC, do you still think it is a "small electric motor"?) are used to help the gasoline motor faster reach the maximum power rpm.
If you want to see what a real hybrid car can do, look for Volskwagen XL1. And no, it is not an "expensive toy". It is the base on which the new VW Golf/Rabbit will be built.
p.s. Geneva is not in France, and Ferrari is not French. What do you mean with "French Ferrari"?

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