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Transportation Technology

World's Fastest Hybrid OK'd For Production 208

Posted by timothy
from the probably-can't-use-the-hov-lanes-though dept.
thecarchik writes "The Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid supercar, first shown as a concept at this spring's Geneva Motor Show, got official approval as a production model today from the company's board of directors. Just consider the specs: a 500-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-8 engine with a 9200-rpm redline, 0-to-62-mph acceleration of 3.2 seconds, and top speed of 198 miles per hour. Oh, and did we mention it gets 78 miles per gallon on the European cycle? The astounding fuel efficiency comes courtesy of an E-Drive mode that lets the 918 Spyder drive up to 16 miles on pure electric power, though [ahem] not at 198 mph."
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World's Fastest Hybrid OK'd For Production

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  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @07:47PM (#33077896)

    And in only 150 years, the gas you save pays for the car!

    --Assuming you drive an earth mover to work today.

    • by zonky (1153039)
      Problem is, if you're out driving on the autobahn, all this achieves is wasting fuel to haul around a whole lot of pointless & heavy batteries.
      • Problem is, if you're out driving on the autobahn, all this achieves is wasting fuel to haul around a whole lot of pointless & heavy batteries.

        At some stage you have to exit the autobahn, and that is when fuel consumption goes up and the hybrid advantage kicks in. Just because you have decided to focus on the one section of road that doesn't see a great improvement doesn't mean that it is not worth bothering with electric motors or that overall consumption will not go down.

      • if you've ever been on the autobahn, you know the on-ramps are ridiculously short in some places (annoyed the hell out of me). Now i wasnt driving a 500hp V8 at the time, but i would have loved the extra torque from two serious electric motors to help me accelerate

        Sure, if 99% of your traveltime is spent at 100+ mph on the autobahn, this might not be your most efficient vehicle, but who buys a porce for efficiency?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      And in only 150 years, the gas you save pays for the car!
      --Assuming you drive an earth mover to work today.

      Because the only point in not wasting fuel is to save you money.

  • SI units (Score:5, Informative)

    by SensiMillia (217366) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @07:50PM (#33077934)

    78 miles per gallon is about 3 liter for 100 km.

    198 miles = 319 kilometers

    • I just wish we would move away from miles / gallon and towards miles / joule or km / joule. Imperial or American gallons? etc. etc. This is particularly important when more cars run on electricity only, or if you want to compare gasoline with diesel and ethanol.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by trentblase (717954)
        How many Joules are in a gallon of gasoline? Is it the amount of energy generated by internal combustion? The amount of energy generated during "ideal" combustion? Maybe it's the amount of energy released during fusion or fission?

        \ How many Joules are used by an electric car? Which losses are we including (transmission, storage, motor efficiency)?

        I'm seriously asking, because I'm not sure a Joules to Joules comparison would necessarily be any more helpful.
        • You run some tests. Take Car X. Give it Y gallons of gasoline. Run it Z miles. You know the energy stored in Y gallons (simple chemical formulas and calorimetry experiments). It doesn't matter that it's not 100% efficient, as you can still calculate how many joules were "used up" to move the car over the distance. You can do the same with electric cars, except you're measuring Kwh or some similar unit of energy consumption.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        If it is the european cycle that is being quoted, then it will be British gallons, not American ones. They are bigger, so you get more miles out of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moreati (119629)

        The standards to which the EU are trying to move are litres/100 km or kWh/km

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheLink (130905)
        If/when more cars start using lots of electricity to run, you'd probably want distance/kWh since most electricity rates are by kilowatt hour (whether they are taking money from you, or crediting you :) ).

        FWIW there are about 34 megajoules in a litre of petrol. So that's about 9.5kWh/litre. BUT that's not so useful if your fuel supplier doesn't charge you in kWh. After all what most people would want to know is how much it would cost them. For a hybrid car the fuel may be converted to electricity, but it als
    • by mcvos (645701)

      78 miles per gallon is about 3 liter for 100 km.

      That'd be 33 km per liter. That's pretty good!

  • Deceiving. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pwnies (1034518) <j@jjcm.org> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @07:53PM (#33077966) Homepage Journal

    "78 miles per gallon on the European cycle"

    Sure, and my plug in golf car gets mpg on any test thrown at it. Really that's poor and deceitful advertising. This car is a plug in car - it doesn't generate it's own electricity. It's not like a prius where you just fill it and forget about it, you're supplying another form of energy yourself. Saying what MPG it gets is redundant unless you also show how many Joules of electricity it used in the process as well.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      This car is a plug in car - it doesn't generate it's own electricity.

      I guess that's for some kind of efficiency or to make the manufacture of the gearbox / differentials. It's kind of too bad. With an engine that large, it should have some spare capacity under normal driving to keep the battery charged. If there was someone I expected to make a car that really used the electric motors to make the car really take off and be able to recharge that ability, it's someone like Porche. I wonder if they at least

      • by Rennt (582550)

        Pretty sure Toyota is all over it actually.

        *goes off and checks*

        Yep, the new Supra hybrid is optimized for performance, has been in development for at least 4 years, and should be available long before the Porsche.

    • Re:Deceiving. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:21PM (#33078662) Homepage

      Or, for the idiotic mass public:

      "Miles per buck"

      Really, that's all people care about. Multiply by the average cost of a gallon of fuel, or kwh of charge, and spit out a number any cousin-fucking retard can understand. Maybe then people will become a tiny bit more conscious about efficiency, and/or take arms against the energy cartels (a nerd can dream, can't he ?)

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        bucks per 100km would be much better, even bucks per 100miles would be better.

        • by billcopc (196330)

          I never understood why people are so pedantic about the $/100km metric. It's not better, it's different. I'm assessing how far my money can take me.

          If a car gets 10 miles per buck, and I have to drive 20 miles to work every day, I know that commute is costing me $2 each way. If it were instead "10 bucks per 100 miles", the math is simply inverted: I can travel to or from work 5 times for 10 bucks. One is more intuitive for short trips, the other for long ones, but it's the same damned thing.

          Frankly if p

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hardburn (141468)

            Subtraction is just addition using negative numbers. Why not skip subtraction altogether and just do addition? And hey, multiplication is just addition done over and over, and division is just subtraction done over and over, so we could simplify all those operators down to just one.

            We don't do that, not because we're too stupid, but because it's terribly inconvenient to work everything out in terms of addition alone. We pick the notation that's most convenient for the given purpose.

            Doing the faction in term

            • Subtraction is just addition using negative numbers. Why not skip subtraction altogether and just do addition? And hey, multiplication is just addition done over and over, and division is just subtraction done over and over, so we could simplify all those operators down to just one.

              Someone paid attention in assembly class. ;)

          • by Sique (173459)

            I don't get you. If I have to travel a distance of 15 km each day, and I know my car uses 6 litres per 100 km, I know that it uses 0,06 l/km * 15 km = 0,9 litres for the trip, which I can do in my head... a simple multiplication. Where's your problem with that?

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            Frankly if people lack the mental capacity to invert a fraction, what are we doing putting them in control of a 3000lb killing machine ?

            It's a question of inverting the number, adding it, then inverting it again, as opposed to just adding it. People are stupid. They won't realize that you'll use less fuel moving from a 10 mpg vehicle to an 11 mpg vehicle than going from a 55 mpg vehicle to one that gets 100 mpg. Even if they know it's supposed to be inverted before compared, few can do the math in thei
            • As such, listing the economy should be done in fuel/distance because that's the better method of comparing economy.

              With that system, the more fuel you use to go the same distance, the higher the figure. So doesn't that measure uneconomy?

          • I'm assessing how far my money can take me.

            In the real world, which of these scenarios is more likely:

            • I need to go from Footown to Barville for business. The round trip distance is X. I need to calculate what that'll cost me, so I can factor it into the quote/claim my expenses etc.
            • I've got Y amount of money. I wonder how far I could go with that?
        • by Jawnn (445279)

          bucks per 100km would be much better, even bucks per 100miles would be better.

          (With respect to GP...) Right, 'cause all that math stuff to convert between units is like, you know, hard.

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Or, for the idiotic mass public:

        "Miles per buck"


        For the idiotic mass public? That measurement (distance per dollar) is the most important, and is about the only way to correctly analyze the efficiency of hybrid cars (consuming both gallons of gas and KwH of electricity). If that's for the 'idiotic mass public', than they've got the right notion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209)

      Sure, and my plug in golf car gets mpg on any test thrown at it. Really that's poor and deceitful advertising.

      It is accurate if you remember that the "G" in "MPG" stands for "Gallon", as in, gasoline. Yes, additional energy is required, but energy isn't the main problem - gasoline is. If you live in France, for example, most of that extra energy comes from a nuclear power plant, doesn't contribute to global warming, and doesn't sponsor terrorism.

    • Miles per gallon equivalent is the term the X-car people are using.
    • It being a plug in car, you may get to town and back without every burning any fuel. If you're close enough to town (less than 8 miles, if I understand it does in fact go 16 miles on a charge without using fuel). If you only go back and forth to work, you might never buy gas. If you live close enough to work. Which, if you own that kind of car, you can probably arrange.

      I want one. Let me just start shuffling through the couch cushions.....

    • We have the Thrust SSC around somewhere, If we fit it with an electric drive that would beat this ... .. it does 763 mph @ 0.04 mpg U.S but the electric motor uses no gas so as a hybrid it's really economical, right?

      A Porsche is very uneconomical, a Porsche with an electric drive is just as uneconomical when driven fast or beyond the range or the electric drive system ...it's just it uses zero gas in a traffic jam?

      The Tesla does infinite mpg - does that mean it cost nothing to run, and produces no CO2 ?

  • OK, in the "e-drive" mode, you're on pure electric (for 16 miles), and the "78 miles/gallon" figure that they've stamped on it comes from the fuel used to charge up the batteries using a 500-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-8? Let's just say I'm skeptical.

    The other modes (Hybrid, Sport Hybrid, and Race Hybrid) sound interesting, but consider:
    • You're not getting 78 MPG in any of those modes
    • If you've got a 500-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-8 under the hood, do you really need a "push to pass" button?

    Ahhh, who cares - ju

    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      >If you've got a 500-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-8 under the hood, do you really need a "push to pass" button?

      You still need it to pass the other guy with a 500 horsepower V-8 under the hood!

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @08:43PM (#33078370) Homepage

    If I put a couple of extra batteries in my old Chevy I think I could get that far on the starter.

    • by istartedi (132515)

      That's nothing. My Honda gets infinite miles per gallon, and in heavy traffic. How? Well, there's a very popular route over the hills to the beach here. Sometimes I shut off the engine when it's backed up on the downhill. You just have to be aware of the fact that you don't have ps/pb anymore. It's harder on the brakes too, so there's always some cost. Of course, divide by zero is undefined, but it approaches infinite so let's say I burn a token molecule at the top of the hill. Quick, somebody calcul

      • My Nissan can do the same. Even better, I can go really fast and get the same mileage! Oh did I mention this only works when the car is traveling straight down from very high up, like when I drop it from an airplane.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nxtw (866177)

        Plenty of modern electronic fuel injected vehicles get infinite MPG for periods of time, without having to employ dangerous shenanigans like shutting off the engine (and consequently shutting off safety systems and power control). They simply stop injecting fuel when the vehicle is moving sufficiently fast while in gear and without any accelerator input.

        • by sincewhen (640526)

          Which is another reason you should change over to litres/100km.

          My European car says "0.0" when coasting.

  • I've heard that electric powered engines provide more torque than internal combustion. This added torque on the wheels means you lay tire instead of fully accelerate. Why hasn't someone made an electric car with very wide tires. The additional surface area could mean less spinning and more acceleration. A high speed car is a novelty in countries with a speed limit, but acceleration limits are something not really enforced. So it'd be really cool to have a car that shoved you into the back of your seat
    • by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:04PM (#33078902)
      I'm an engineer...and a race car driver. You can decide if that qualifies me to answer.

      Electric motors can produce torque at all RPMs, so you don't have to mess around with complex gearing to keep the engine in the "power band."

      Sure, if you wanted to burn rubber, an electric motor would be happy to comply, but if you want a car that is easy to control, you only supply as much torque as the tires can handle (even ICE-powered cars do this). You don't want super-wide tires, because you increase rolling resistance, making the car less efficient. Tire contact patches are optimized for traction and resistance (and then the owner screws that up because he thinks 22" wheels on a sub-compact looks "gnarly!").
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I'm an engineer...and a race car driver. You can decide if that qualifies me to answer.

        I think you mean IAAE...AARCD
        Also, I think that makes you ineligible by slashdot rules, on the basis that you probably have some idea what you're talking about on a subject other than programming languages or Linux.

        • by Tacvek (948259)

          But is he an automotive engineer, or a civil engineer who realized that he could get better pay if he was walling to risk his neck driving unspecified race cars (stock-appearance cars? actually-stock cars? F1 cars? drag racing? oval racing? crash derby "racing"? "monster truck" "racing"? out-running the cops "racing"? ...)?

    • by HBoar (1642149)
      No, wider tyres only increase traction significantly up to a point. You still want to have an optimum force/area (pressure) loading on the tyre surface. Additionally, wider tyres lead to higher rolling resistance. With four wheel drive systems, there are already road cars that can get to 100km/h in around 2.5 seconds -- a much faster acceleration rate than any normally powered car could achieve, and also much faster than most people would be able to handle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by theapeman (1068448)

      It's true that an electric motor provides more torque than an internal combustion engine at low revs.
      The shape of the toque curve is very different.
      An electric motor can provide a lot of torque at 0 rpm, while an internal combustion engine can't even keep itself turning at very low revs.

      This means that the power curve has a different shape. An electric motor has a much broader curve, so it is able to run with high power over a large range of speeds. So much so that it wont need a clutch, and may not need di

  •   Did anyone else notice that in order to save gas money with this car, you need to be rich to buy it.

  • Come on now, give them credit where they're trying. Some of the most gas guzzling vehicles n the roads in the last few years have been changed to at least be slightly nicer to the environment... just the start of big things to come. vcp @ university in thailand
  • Missing the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chocapix (1595613)

    A lot of comments here miss the point of this car.

    It recovers some of the braking energy before a corner to charge the batteries, and then use the electric motors to exit the corner faster. The point of this car is to go fast, not save fuel/money (seriously guys a $500,000 car to save money?)

    The fact that you can use it as a hybrid and get good mileage in some (very rare) circumstances is no more than a funny side effect.

  • I imagine this thing's going to be astronomically expensive. Because the truth is they don't really want people to buy it. It exists so that they can meet the EU requirements for average fuel efficiency across the range. This car's so much more economical than all the others that it pulls their range up to the required level.

    It's a problem all niche manufacturers are facing. Aston Martin are getting round it by reskinning the tiny Toyota iQ and calling it the Cygnet. It's only for sale to those who alr

  • eat cake.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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