Hybrid, when first introduced to world about 15 years ago, were lame. They were underpowered, quirky, and ugly for the most part. Sure they delivered range benefits in the city, but on the highway they struggled. Hybrids have built a bad reputation, nonetheless. However, with the regulations being enacted to counter the effects of air population, hybrids are the future…or at least they are until someone can either sort out the battery issue with electrics, and the production issue with hydrogen.
Audi recently announced that the new RS models would be incorporating hybrid technology in the future. Now, if this were announced 15 years ago, I would’ve already jumped out of my window. However, with the hybrid technology we have currently, I am actually looking forward to the next generation of sport models.
Most manufactures have taken to the lower displacement and turbo charge method for their sport models. For the most part this works well, but ruins the lively hood of the car. Engines lose the rev range, as well as sound. Basically, flamboyancy is lost, which is something that a sports car needs to be called a sports car. But with the new hybrid technology, a car wouldn’t need to make those sacrifices for efficiency.
Take for instance the Porsche 918. It is a hybrid. Yet it produces close to 900hp, 900 lb/ft of torque, and can hit 60mph in less than 3 seconds. What the 918 does to not be a lame hybrid is that it uses the electric motors to assist the internal combustion engine where it lacks power and torque. And internal combustion engine takes time to build power in the beginning for the rev range, the electric motor provides power and torque to not only get the car moving faster, but also the engine too. This means that the engine doesn’t really have to be limited to a certain rev range, as if it were turbo or supercharged. The electric motor can also drive the wheels when the car is not being driven spiritedly, so no gas will be burned, and also in conjunction to reduce emissions.
Now, this is in a hypercar that cost close to a million dollars, but as with all technologies, slowly this will be transitioned to lower tiers. If Audi incorporates this technology into their RS line cars, then boy are we in for a show. Just imagine a 4.2-liter V8 being revved out to 9k on the tach, and still be able to achieve decent average fuel consumption. I for one am excited for what the future holds for cars. Don’t let the word hybrid fool you, performance will reach new levels. Carry on Audi.