by Pablo Balbiani
The concept of the hypercar has always focused on the track experience it can deliver. The 0-100 km/h time has to be blistering quick, top speed has to be well over 300km/h and the weight of the car has to be kept to a minimal. For the past two decades performance has been the only thing that drives the development of these cars, you wouldn’t particularly think that fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions are considered during the development of these speed demons. Well, you’d be wrong! The new breed to hypercars are hybrids! They use a combined internal combustion engine and electric motors to power the vehicle.
The Porsche 918 is a car that goes above and beyond environmental expectations of any hybrid car. It comes with five driving modes which range from strictly electric power to operating both the petrol and electric engines in way to increase power output from the unit. Current estimates suggests that over ¼1/4 of the CO2 emissions come from transportation. Porsche knew that it had to come up with an alternative to help solve the environmental problem that is caused by the automotive industry. On its e-hybrid driving mode the Porsche 918 is more fuel efficient than a Toyota Prius, achieving an astounding 39 km per litre. The current Canadian economic plan forces consumers to pay a tax on gasoline, which the provincial governments adjust as a means to encourage less consumption of fossil fuels. The 918 conforms to the energy alternative of using less fossil fuels. The price of the 918 is just as astonishing as you may think, coming in at a hefty 1.5 million USD.
With a price tag which is more than what the average Canadian makes in 20 years, many people think “well that’s nice, but what’s the point, I’ll never afford one in my life!” Although that is a very valid point, the statement that Porsche have made by producing this car has massive environmental implications, it gives people like myself the hope that this technology will one day find its way into affordable cars. The biggest statement that the Porsche 918 makes in the automotive industry is that you don’t have to drive a boring car to do your part to lower carbon emissions! The 918 has the looks that any 12 year old petrolhead will fall in love with, it sounds like a proper performance car and has now set a new standard for green performance. Quite simply, the Porsche 918 is a benchmark in the automotive industry. Its attention to detail combined with its ruthless fuel efficiency and insane power output is a clear example that it is possible to be environmentally friendly on the road while still being able to have some serious fun on the racetrack.
The effects of performance hybrid technology are already beginning to show. The Honda automotive group have launched the Acura NSX, its newest addition to the supercar club, the price tag is a more modest 200,000 USD. Honda have also announced that the hybrid technology used in the NSX is still being developed and will be fitted on their more economical road cars in the future. This means that all of Honda’s competitors will have to rise up to the challenge of producing cars of similar caliber if they’d like to remain in business, which will spark an new kind of competition among the industry, one which will make fuel efficiency an industry standard.