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2016-03-15

Electrified supercars in Geneva



At the recent Geneva Auto Salon, a number of smaller automakers had electrified supercars on display. Few of these are likely to be seen on the world’s roads any time soon, but it’s interesting to see how designers are combining electric and legacy drives for maximum performance.
The British firm Arash hybrid version of its AF10 road car, featuring a 6.2-liter V8, four electric motors and a 32 kWh battery pack.

The V8 powers the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, and the electric motors are paired, two per axle. Total peak output is 2,080 horsepower, enough to launch this beast from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. Arash is now taking orders, at a starting price of £1,100,000.
Chinese startup TechRules introduced its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) powertrain, which includes a turbine engine, six (!) electric motors and a 20 kW lithium-maganese-oxide battery pack.
TechRules exhibited two cars, the AT96, a track car designed to run on liquid aviation fuels, and the GT96, which runs on biogas or natural gas (remember that Tesla co-founder Ian Wright, interviewed in our April 2014 issue, is a fan of turbine engines, which can be highly efficient as range extenders for electric powertrains).
TechRules plans to put a low-volume supercar using the TREV powertrain into production “soon.”
Italian styling house Italdesign showed off its GTZero, which has three electric motors that produce a combined 483 hp, and give the vehicle four-wheel steering and all-wheel drive.

Italdesign said the GTZero will probably remain a concept, but some of its technology could find its way into vehicles from the company’s owner, the Volkswagen Group.
British automaker McLaren is winding down production of its P1 hybrid supercar, but sees more electrified vehicles in its future. CEO Mike Flewitt said that the next McLaren hybrid is probably about six years away, but by that time, half the company’s models will feature hybrid powertrains. Flewitt also said McLaren is considering the possibility of an all-electric supercar to replace the P1.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the hall, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne remains a reliable EV naysayer. He famously groused that Fiat loses money on its 500e compliance car, and hasn’t exactly been trumpeting Chrysler’s plans for a hybrid minivan, so it’s no surprise that even the suggestion of an electric Ferrari raises his oil pressure.
Saying that engine noise is an essential part of Ferrari’s character, Marchionne told reporters in Geneva that an electrified Ferrari would be “almost an obscene concept.”