I realize autos are increasingly regarded as environmentally corrupt and passé. But they are a major fact of life planet-wide and are the fastest growing segment of transport, especially with China and India's new middle classes going car-crazy.
So let's discuss them in all their myriad forms. The industry is in a crazy flux and nobody is quite sure where it will lead. Full Hybrid, mild hybrid, fuel cell, electric, hydrogen and biofuel combustion, we haven't seen this since the debates of external combustion (steam) vs. internal combustion at the turn of the last century!
I'll start with something sexy
to get everyone's attention. No hybrid, this is the replacement for what has become the industry standard of exotic sports cars, the Ferrari 430. The F430 has been Ferrari's bread and butter since 2004, and before that it was the 308 of 1975, made famous on tv by Magnum PI
. It's a simple formula of two seats with a mid-engine V-8. Over the years what has changed is technology, engine displacement, performance and weight (in the ever loftier spheres). What hasn't changed is fuel economy. Ferrari is no longer immune to drinking fuel like champagne so the replacement is the F458.
Leaked patent application drawings show Ferrari pursuing a unique hybrid drivetrain system that would utilize its electric motor and a gasoline engine seperately, each to drive one axle. The electric motors would be powered by regenerative braking, much as in the Formula One KERS installation.
Yep, that's right. The new standard of exotics will probably be offered with hybrid
Weird. Or maybe I'm just really old.