Monday, October 6, 2014

Now I've Seen Everything...

Really don't know what to make of this...

Lamborghini tests out hybrid supercar
Lamborghini's Asterion LPI 910-4 concept was one of the most hotly anticipated unveilings of the Paris Motor Show, and the Italian supercar maker didn't disappoint.

The electric blue Asterion on display in Paris has been surrounded by cameras and curious onlookers since its unveiling Thursday. Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann says the low-slung speedster is the first ever plug-in gas-elecric hybrid in Lamborghini's history.
It's pretty sweet-looking, too:

On the one hand, I think this is a pretty strong sign that hybrid technology is the way to go. If freakin' Lamborghini is investing in hybrids, I think it's a good sign the technology has gone mainstream. Hybrids are a great interim step between gasoline-only vehicles and [some other form of power]. Really, my only complaint with hybrids is the extreme price premium. Hopefully, as the technology matures, becomes more accepted, and enters the mainstream this will start to change.

I mean, the Honda Accord hybrid sedan is flippin' sweet. 50 mpg city gas mileage is pretty awesome for a mid-size sedan that seats 5 comfortably. Except that it's $8,000 more than the gas model that gets 27 mpg in the city, which is still pretty phenomenal for a car of that size. The discrepancy between efficient gas models and hybrids is closing, but at present time the difference isn't great enough to make up for the increase in price.

Showing the math: if you drive 15,000 miles a year, the hybrid will save roughly 250 gallons of gas a year. Even assuming a price of $3.50 a gallon, that's $900 a year, meaning you'd need to drive 9 years just to break even. That's doable, of course; however at that point variables really start stacking up, like if the battery needs to be replaced.

On the other hand, a hybrid Lambo sounds pretty freakin' awesome...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Ted said...

When Lamborgini , Porsche . Ferrari and such talk hybrid. They mean gas plus elec = 900 hp. ( oh and if we really have too we can run your mpg cycle on electric only because our engineers specficly designed to max that test. ).

But. Mostly we like the instant low speed torque of an electric motor to ADD to the high end hp of our gas motor

Brad_in_MA said...

Maclaren's got a 900+ hp setup ... electric motors ADD power when gas engine is slowing.

Angus McThag said...

They're all making hybrids because there's free government money for making them.

TS said...

It's still going to get crappy gas mileage if you drive it like a Lamborgini. And why would you get a Lamborgini and drive it like a Prius?

I still believe diesel technology is the way to go to improve efficiency for a cost premium. It’s proven technology that last even longer than gasoline ICEs, while hybrids will probably fail sooner, and create more waste and use more energy by using additional toxic metals. We all witness how our cell phone and laptop batteries degrade over a few years.

I’m a fan of Colin Chapman’s “less is more” philosophy, and wonder if “hyper-cars” like the Porsche 918 and “LaFerrari” wouldn’t be better cars if they dropped the batteries and electric motors. They wouldn’t be as fast in a straight line, but braking and handling would be improved.

notDilbert said...

Hybrid Hyper cars are an engineering exercise prompted by Government mandates that manufactures meet specific fuel economy standards. The "anti fun police" figured they could legislate away all the high horsepower cars by setting standards they figured that Ferrari and Lamborghini could never reach and still make fast cars ( see 80's Corvettes ). But then the Law of Unintended Consequences kicked in.

Engineers carefully read the rules and came up with a solution. Hybrid Cars that got 80 MPG in the government mandated test cycle and yet still managed to have 900 hp and do 250 mph.

Somewhere the there is a politician screaming at their legislative aid to "fix this mess and find a way to legislate these cars out of existence....again.

A futile pursuit, as long as there are Engineers that are also enthusiasts of "faster - stronger - better " ( which is pretty much every Engineer I know.

Sure Colin believed that the ultimate race car design fell to pieces as it was pushed to the garage after it won the race. But he also was an early proponent of wings on race cars and ground effects, using the voids in the monocoque tub to serve as the gas tank, Turbine powered Indy cars, and whatever else he could come up with to make his cars faster and one step ahead of the other guys. So if he were alive today, he would be right there with the rest of them using electric motors to supplement the gas engines.

notDilbert said...

...... and braking is very much improved by the use of Electric motors. Instead of losing all that energy as heat in friction brakes. The Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems ( KERS ) that do the braking on a hybrid race car harvest all that previously lost energy and recycle it with arguably better braking control since it can be monitored and adjusted on the fly by high speed computing power. F1 cars brake at nearly 4 g's.

Chapman would be impressed.