Geneva Motor Show Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid Racer

Not content to launch a new Cayenne in hybrid form and a stonking 918 hybrid concept at Geneva, Porsche showed a hybrid version of its new GT3R racing car. Set to race for real at the Nürburgring, this is no concept but a fully fledged 911 endurance racer. What sets it apart from the competition, […]

Geneva Motor Show Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid Racer and kinetic drive


Not content to launch a new Cayenne in hybrid form and a stonking 918 hybrid concept at Geneva, Porsche showed a hybrid version of its new GT3R racing car. Set to race for real at the Nürburgring, this is no concept but a fully fledged 911 endurance racer. What sets it apart from the competition, particularly in the hybrid sense, is that it runs a flywheel type energy recovery, storage and power plant to supplement the 4 litre flat-six petrol engine engine in the tail rather than a battery pack.

Geneva Motor Show - Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid racer

Electrically spun, the flywheel stores kinetic energy and transfers it back to twin front electric drive motors, effectively giving 4 wheel drive on demand. Braking electrically respins the flywheel for a 6-8 second burst of extra power and traction. No word from Porsche as to whether there are any negative gyroscopic effects in the corners (or at all), but it should be more stable at high speed if the flywheel mass is sufficient. The system appears to rely on its high rotation speed rather than pure spinning weight. And anyway most cars have four spinning gyroscopes covered in rubber; one at each corner ;-)
So how would you feel about sitting next to what looks like a personal nuclear fusion reactor ? Should be fine really as it’s just a disc spinning at, err, 40,000rpm….but at least it has been developed by Williams Hybrid Power Ltd and Torotrak so does have some F1 technology built in.


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Geneva Motor Show Hispano Suiza Granturismo

Hispano Suiza come back from the grave to give us the new Granturismo Based in Inglostadt, Germany and funded by a wealthy Spaniard from Barcelona, the Hispano Suiza brand makes a comeback…..again. We say again, as there was a stillborn attempt a few years ago, where the only tangible product was a show car. So […]

Geneva Motor Show - Hispano Suiza Granturismo elegant profile

Hispano Suiza come back from the grave to give us the new Granturismo

Based in Inglostadt, Germany and funded by a wealthy Spaniard from Barcelona, the Hispano Suiza brand makes a comeback…..again. We say again, as there was a stillborn attempt a few years ago, where the only tangible product was a show car. So here we are again, but with an entirely new setup and backers. Our guide around the show car assures us that this one is a runner and about to undergo testing before production versions hit the streets in the autumn. They will have to prove that convincingly before anyone takes them seriously despite the impressive lineup of experienced designers and marketeers.

Geneva Motor Show - Hispano Suiza how they use to look

As for the car, it pretty much follows every other recent supercar upstart, by having a stratospheric price tag and performance to match. However, they have forged a distinctive styling path that will polarize opinions. The side profile works well with elegant window line, chrome faced air intakes, and pleasing, crisp, high waistline. Rear is neat and uncontroversial, but the nose is a love it / hate it pointed shark shaped beak, which would look more comfortable on a powerboat. The new Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera carries off the arrow shaped nose a bit more convincingly. We’ll list the specs and hybrid options below but warn you first, that the normal cooking version ( if you can call a 205mph 330km/h car cooking ) costs a staggering €700,000. In the past Hispano Suizas were equally opulent, outrageous behemoths: the preserves of film stars, maharajahs and dictators so the price point was always breathtaking.


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Geneva Motor Show Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe

CR-Z Hybrid Coupe at the Geneva Auto Show One of the cars we were eager to see in the flesh at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the Honda CR-Z. Would it look as sleek and purposeful as the Honda released press pics. Verdict: yes it’s refreshingly small and light looking. Many new cars have […]

Geneva Motor Show - Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe front view


CR-Z Hybrid Coupe at the Geneva Auto Show

One of the cars we were eager to see in the flesh at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the Honda CR-Z. Would it look as sleek and purposeful as the Honda released press pics. Verdict: yes it’s refreshingly small and light looking. Many new cars have tended to bulk up their look, but this Honda flows, tilted from the back window forwards, with grill box low and lights pointing downwards arrow-like. The stance is that of a crouched animal, head down to minimise wind drag. The shape is uncontroversial and easily digested and should appeal immediately. We were drawn to a red CR-Z complete with purchaser spec-cable carbon front chin and door sill addons, and 10 spoke alloys – much more inviting than the standard spec cars. Inside there’s a “carbon” look dash that wouldn’t look out of place on a Klingon starship, especially with the instruments lit up. It’s the sort of car you just want to get in and drive; it’s got enthusiasts DNA written all over it. Just a quick reminder though: it’s a hybrid, but that’s not what’s on your mind when you see it unlike Honda’s old 4 door Civic Hybrid. But you’ll like the claimed 54mpg and low CO2.


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder

Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual […]

Porsche 918 Hybrid prototype


Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show

Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual power cars; the 918’s cooled lithium-ion battery pack is there to supplement the mid-mounted 500bhp V8, provide power boost on demand, and pure electric drive to pull into your drive quietly at night! Porsche claim a 7:30 laptime around the Nordschleiffe, beating even their Carrera GT times…

Let’s hope this Concept, referred to also as Prototype, makes into production speedily, as this has to be the most exciting new shape to come out of Stuttgart for sometime. Let’s also remind Porsche that the fantastic detailing of the Boxster concept got watered down somewhat in the production version. The 918 needs to keep a lot of those artful, but no doubt purposeful touches. What it doesn’t need is the lash-up tent that the recent Boxster Spyder got as a roof.


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 – Porsche 918 hybrid spyder concept

Porsche spring a hybrid concept that isn’t a GT3 but a 918 The Porsche concept car is their interpretation of a hybrid sportscar. Nominally retro and recalling the famous racing car of the same number, it’s purpose in life is to give us Porsche performance with outstanding CO2 output and fuel efficiency. Claiming 70 grams […]

Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder Concept


Porsche spring a hybrid concept that isn’t a GT3 but a 918

The Porsche concept car is their interpretation of a hybrid sportscar.

Porsche 918 hybrid Concept with Walter Röhrl and Michael Mac

Nominally retro and recalling the famous racing car of the same number, it’s purpose in life is to give us Porsche performance with outstanding CO2 output and fuel efficiency. Claiming 70 grams CO2 per kilometre and fuel consumption to 3.0 litres/100 kilometres (94 mpg imp, this mid-engined two-seater combines the performance of a super-sports car with the CO2 emissions of a small compact. Porsche also claim that by combining both power sources they can eqaul the output of a V8! More tomorrow….

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Honda P-NUT city concept

Honda P-NUT Concept car: This is just a styling concept but grabbed our attention because of it’s original shape and city car potential. Strong, purist shapes that make it through to production are rare, and most get watered down through the engineering, marketing and ergonomics depts. Cars that make it through are often the ones […]

Honda P-NUT Concept car

Honda P-NUT Concept car


Honda P-NUT Concept car: This is just a styling concept but grabbed our attention because of it’s original shape and city car potential. Strong, purist shapes that make it through to production are rare, and most get watered down through the engineering, marketing and ergonomics depts. Cars that make it through are often the ones that turn heads or become icons. Think of the original Audi TT, second generation VW Beetle, Bentley Continental, even the Vauxhall/Opel Calibra as a few examples plucked out of the ether. So we hope Honda push this through as it is a compelling, exciting shape.

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – BMW Vision

BMW’s impressive, indoor-track dominated hall featured the Vision hybrid concept car. Adrian van Hooydonk’s design rotated on display as Efficient Dynamics liveried cars from BMW’s lineup sailed past. How cool to have your own track to display and drive right in the exhibition hall ! As we moved over to the Mini stand we could […]

BMW Vision hybrid concept leads the pack on the track

BMW Vision hybrid concept leads the pack on the track

BMW’s impressive, indoor-track dominated hall featured the Vision hybrid concept car. Adrian van Hooydonk’s design rotated on display as Efficient Dynamics liveried cars from BMW’s lineup sailed past. How cool to have your own track to display and drive right in the exhibition hall ! As we moved over to the Mini stand we could hear some tasteful V8 sounds emanating from above us, proving that there was more to BMW’s display than showing their efforts to control emission outputs and improve efficiency.

BMW Vision hybrid concept

BMW Vision hybrid concept


At the heart of their future eco-plans lies the hybrid chassis that the Vision’s aggressive yet svelte bodywork was draped over. Does this mark a swing away from BMW’s plans for hydrogen fuelled cars? Remember the 7 series hydrogen that was being produced on a limited trial basis. Certainly, the whole eco-car movement has pushed towards hybrids and pure electrics, rather than hydrogen, unless in fuel celled cars. Fuel density and transport problems are mostly responsible, and the convenience of converting existing engine technology which was already looking cynical.

We like the principles enshrined in BMW’s philosophy: eco-cars that retain performance and driving pleasure by cutting down weight, and kinetic and aerodynamic losses. But we do question the weight penalty of carrying around a turbodiesel as well as electric motors. This is still intermediate technology to make the all-important range acceptable to ordinary car users. Lose the combustion engine and it’s electric generator and think how much weight you could save. The world still needs a more efficient battery, despite recent advances.

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Ecocars : Hybrid, electric or ecoventional ?

Richard Bremner discusses the merits of Fords Econetic Fiesta versus other forms of ecocars. Are you better off with a really efficient conventional engine, a hybrid or a pure electric car? Yellowwheels is a broad church. To feature here, a vehicle doesn’t have to have supercar, hot hatch or racing credentials (nor always be yellow!) […]

Richard Bremner discusses the merits of Fords Econetic Fiesta versus other forms of ecocars. Are you better off with a really efficient conventional engine, a hybrid or a pure electric car?

ecocars

Yellowwheels is a broad church. To feature here, a vehicle doesn’t have to have supercar, hot hatch or racing credentials (nor always be yellow!) but has to excite, intrigue or fascinate . The current wealth of new eco cars from startup, as well as traditional manufacturers is fascinating, but with all the hype, are they really what you or I will buy?

We invited internationally renowned motoring journalist Richard Bremner to give his views. He is co-founder/owner of CleanGreenCars.co.uk and is running a special eco version of Ford’s highly regarded Fiesta, the ECOnetic, as a long term test.

Richard Bremner at the wheel of Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Richard Bremner at the wheel of Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Click green arrows below to listen to sound clips

Tell us about the merit of this car versus other eco cars

Are cars such as this Ford really helping reduce CO2 ?

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Fisker – They’ve been keeping quiet

Fisker: News had been so sparse, whilst Tesla was splashed all over the media, that we wondered if they had floundered. Luckily not, as a company with such credentials, deserves to make it’s mark on the automotive landscape. Lo and behold today they started tweeting, with a flurry of news links. A sure sign that […]

Fisker: News had been so sparse, whilst Tesla was splashed all over the media, that we wondered if they had floundered. Luckily not, as a company with such credentials, deserves to make it’s mark on the automotive landscape. Lo and behold today they started tweeting, with a flurry of news links. A sure sign that the silence is over and they are courting publicity. First off is a link to a USA Today feature of a real car in the real world and then a link to a youtube video of the car lapping Laguna Seca racetrack (see next page). We say: bring on more news, as this has to be one of the more promising new wave cars under development.

Fisker electric hybrid at Laguna Seca racetrack

Fisker electric hybrid at Laguna Seca racetrack

Read on for more info from Fisker and a video of Karma at Laguna Seca racetrack

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