Ferrari and McLaren launch electric hybrid supercars

Ferrari and McLaren tipped their hats to a low carbon future at the Geneva Motor Show today when they both unveiled electric-hybrid supercars.

With a top speed of 217mph (350km/h) McLaren’s P1 and LaFerrari are the fastest hybrids on the planet, although only the McLaren features a full electric drive mode.

CO2 emissions are 330g/km for the Ferrari, and less than 200g/km for the P1, which can cover approximately 10 km in electric-only mode.

The P1 accelerates from 0 to 300 km/h in less than 17 seconds – five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1 model (Pic: © McLaren)

While LaFerrari’s 6.3-litre V12 engine and the P1’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine can hardly be termed ‘green’. As a comparison the 1.8 litre Toyota Prius has C02 emissions of 96g/km of CO2.

That said, the Ferrari and McLaren take efficiency standards for supercars to a new level.

McLaren’s car body is one of the lightest carbon structures used in any road car to date, weighing 90kg.

Ferrari’s battery is charged via regenerative braking and whenever the engine produces excess torque, and its smart ancillaries work the same way.

The technology used to save energy from braking is similar to that used in Formula One – where it is called a ‘kinetic energy recovery system’.

Ferrari say their hybrid system, know as ‘Hy-Kers‘ makes “full use of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 Kers know-how”.

Ferrari’s batteries weigh 60kg and can be charged either under braking or via any excess torque produced by the engine (Pic © Ferrari)

The Mclaren P1, which costs costs £866,000, lacks this technology, instead coupling its V8 to the single electric motor.

In a statement Ferrari’s president Luca di Montezemolo said elements of the €1.3 million car will eventually trickle down to some of the carmaker’s more affordable models.

“Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way on to the rest of the range,” he said.

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