The Evolution of Hybrid and Electric Supercars
In 2021, we’re all aware of the need to stop using fossil fuels. This, of course, includes petroleum – the very essence that propels vehicles, and supercars in particular, to achieve mind blowing speeds. Thankfully, with technology advanced to bring us alternative power options, we’re finally ready to enter the era of the hybrid and electric supercars.
If you’ve yet to get close up and personal with what’s available you’d be forgiven for thinking that eco-conscious motoring means a lifelong sentence of Toyota Prius ownership. But boredom will be the furthest thing from your mind should you be fortunate to take the driving seat in what has to be some of the most exciting rides on the planet today.
Not convinced yet? Well, join us on a journey that’ll have you gagging to do your bit to save the planet if it means taking the wheel of one of these little beauties…
Did it all Begin with BMW Innovation?
Hybrid technology: The BMW i8
Love them or hate them, BMW should probably be credited with bringing the concept of hybrid tech to the world of the supercar. When they unveiled the BMW i8 at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show it was the first step to the mainstream high-powered hybrid motoring that’s fast becoming the norm. It followed in the footsteps of the i3 city run-around and was designed to bring the power of electricity to the world of high-octane motoring.
Blink and you’ll miss them – McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche and others
Of course, the big guns of the supercar world were soon to answer back. McLaren brought us the P1, with its 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 combined with an electric motor that produced – wait for it – 903bhp and 723lb ft (980Nm) of torque. Only 375 have been made and it stands proudly as the jewel in the vehicle-maker’s crown.
Ferrari answered the challenge with one of the fastest hybrid’s on the market today – the SF90 Stradale. It features the manufacturer’s most powerful V8 engine ever made, a 3.9 litre monster that produces 769bhp. This is combined with three electric motors that take the output to 986bhp, leading to a vehicle that boasts 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 211mph.
There’s also Ferrari’s whimsically named, LaFerrari, uniquely equipped with an F1-derived hybrid solution. This boasts a cool 950bhp, top speed of 217mph and 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds.
Other vertigo-inducing speed machines include:
- The Porsche 918 Spyder: With top end of 211mph and 875bhp.
- The Honda Acura NSX: This 2nd generation from a maker better known for superbikes than supercars is definitely a contender, having a very satisfactory top speed of 191mph and an impressive 2.9 seconds to undertake 0-62mph.
- The Lamborghini Sian FKP 37: Sporting sci-fi movie star looks, it’s the most powerful car Lambo has ever produced.
- The Mercedes Project One: Fancy a road legal F1 car? Then perhaps this is the dream machine for you. With an electric motor on each front wheel, a rear axle powered by a 1.6 litre V6, a 160kw motor also driving the rear wheels and an 80kW motor eliminating drag on the turbo, this little baby has an excess of 1,000bhp and can exceed 124mph in 6.5 seconds. And the cost? A mere £2.5 million. 275 are being produced, and all have been pre-sold…
But Then… What About Pure Electric: Supercars that’ll make you weep with desire
From Tesla to Lotus, the best electric supercars of 2021
Now then. Hybrids are all very well. But if you want to save the planet then surely it needs to be all-electric? And this is where the supercar dream becomes unbelievably sexy.
So let’s take a look at what are, fingers crossed, vehicles that are primed and ready to grace the planet during 2021 (and we bet you won’t have heard of many of them)
- The Dendrobium D-1: Fancy buying British? Then this Williams Advanced Engineering developed and UK built is the brainchild of the team that developed the McLaren F1. Faster than fast, it offers 1,800bhp and, we have to say, is one of the most futuristic looking of all that will potentially become reality this year.
- The Tesla Roadster (second generation): Which is, by all accounts, one of – if not the – fastest road car on the planet, with a top speed of more than 250mph. When (and of course, if) this little gem becomes reality there’s no worries about range, as Musk promises a range of over 600 miles.
- The Lotus Evija: If you want to get your hands on the fully-electric beauty created by Lotus then we’re sad to tell you that you’re out of luck. Only 130 of the Evija are being produced for rollout this year (2021), and they’ve all sold out. It boasts an incredible 2,000bhp, has a top speed of 200mph and will whisk you from 0-62mph in under 2 seconds.
- The Aspark Owl: At just under 3 million euro, this Japanese manufacturer (but Italian build) is another that’ll return a 0-62mph in less than 2 seconds. The torque is off the scale (2,000Nm) and it’ll reach well over 200mph.
- The Nio EP9: This one actually exists! Not only that, but it’s managed a 6 minute 49.5 second lap of the Nürburgring with Peter Drumbrek. The Neo is also a contender for the science fiction stakes, with slitted headlights and pumped up arches that allows it to be able to pull over 2.5 lateral G in the corners, so we’re led to believe.
- The Drako GTE: At $1.25 million US dollars and only 25 to be made, this 1,200bhp example is, bizarrely, a 4-seater. Not quite a family car for most, but if it does make its way into production there’s sure to be a few dads and mums out there who’d be happy to take it on the school run, we’re sure.
So there you have it. Hybrid and electric supercars and hypercars that prove, once and for all, that at some point we’ll be able to wave goodbye to the combustion engine for good. Not this year, or perhaps not even this decade – but at some point in the near distant future, we’ll all be plugging in instead of fuelling up.
Along with repurposing, recycling, composting and veganism, the era of the electric car is here to stay. Now, anyone know how we wangle a test drive of one of the above…?