Car enthusiasts are an odd bunch. They don’t understand why people buy “bland-mobiles” like Toyotas & Hondas, they can’t see why anyone would choose an automatic gearbox over a manuals, and they still can’t figure out why all cars aren’t RWD. For them, the smell of burning petrol (or oil, if you’re in Europe) combined with smouldering rubber, is somewhere between, a freshly baked apple pie and cooked bacon in the spectrum of heavenly smells. Well, there’s one other thing that car enthusiasts may have to combine with those smells, the hum of an electric motor… and it might just mean the end of their sweeping disdain for anything with the word “hybrid” in its name.
Auto Express hints that Ford could replace their old Focus RS with a new Focus RS…with a hybrid powertrain! (Cue dramatic music). The new RS will have a 2.0 EcoBoost direct injection turbo and an electric motor. The EcoBoost engine will power the front wheels while the electric motor will give power to the rear wheels, effectively making the RS all wheel drive. The total output of this new RS will be 300bhp, 0 – 60mph will be 5 seconds with a top speed of 155mph. Excited? You will be.
Other automakers are bringing hybrid powertrains to their cars and I don’t mean their subcompacts. Insideline reports that rumours are floating that Nissan’s next generation of GT-R will come with a hybrid option. Wired.com reports that Jaguar are getting in on the act by building a hybrid which uses a gas turbine to power the electric motor. What Car? reports that even Ferrari are going to showcase their own hybrid technology at the Geneva Auto Show as they move to cut average CO2 emissions. They’re even debuting the technology on a V12-powered 599 GTB so the extra weight of the electric motor is less noticeable.
So to all those boyracers who’d rather eat their neoprene seats than drive a hybrid (with all the cultural baggage the name implies), are you telling me none of these reports excite you just a little bit?