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I just finished watching Chris Harris drive the 918, and like everyone else have watched the P1 ‘Ring video more than once. I have no doubt these cars are monster performers. Likely only a handful of people can ever hope to be able to drive them near the limit. This is part of the whole idea of a supercar—performance without rational boundary. But the supercar is also about showcasing technology, showing the state of the art, and leading the way a bit to the future.

In this regard, I just am not getting the idea behind these hybrids—I don’t doubt that the systems engineering to make it work is tricky, or the suspension work needed to hide the weight is not an easy thing to do. But this is engineering working to overcome fundamental problems with hybrids: they are complicated and heavy. What happened to simplicity as an engineering virtue? These things employ super-clever bits of engineering, but they are not elegant answers to the question of how to design a sport car. Is this really the best we got?

I just wonder if I am alone in this view of the P1/918/LaF? Have I missed it—and this is the future of the automobile? Would love to hear what people think.
 

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I posted a thread not long ago with electric power:

http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/other-road-cars-slr-m6gt-m81/4377-drayson-b12-electric-monster.html

but to answer your question which is quite vague, with my understanding and opinion, I don't think its the ''best'' we got, hell no I don't think it is, its really good however given the constraints industries are under, from funding to safety, and to even make a profit from their products, Also check out the Mercedes SLS electric, and watch the technology behind that, its interesting. As of now I think we are heading down the electric route, there seems to be no doubt about that yet I don't understand the driving force behind EV's, whether if its regulations or there is gain for power industries, because there are a lot of other alternative energies that can be harnessed and more efficiently too.
 

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Electricity is the universal "currency" of energy, Wind, solar, oil, natural gas any can all be converted to electricity. There is always a loss when converting energy sources but electricity is easier to store and transport than any other form. There are larger gains to be made in lightweight batteries, storage capacities and motor efficiencies, I think the future is hybrid even for smaller or less costly autos.
 

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It's hard to come to a consensus on what 'best' is, but technology will continue to improve and car manufacturers will continue to exploit that technology to further their objectives. When it comes to the upper echelon of performance, I think we are at the beginning of the gas-to-electric transition. As electric motors improve and, more importantly, battery technology improves, the need for a gas / petrol engine starts to diminish.

Look at what Tesla has accomplished. A few years ago the prevailing wisdom was that "no one would buy an electric car". Now they are selling them as fast as they can make them. The top of the line P85 Model S has a range of 265 miles, and gets from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Ordering one will set you back close to 90,000 USD... I would not bet against Tesla (or someone using similar technology) at having a car that can easily go 600 miles on a charge and get from 0 to 60 in 3 or fewer seconds within 3-5 years. Battery tech doesn't seem to follow Moore's Law but it is constantly improving.

In my opinion the P1, 918, and LaFerrari likely are the result of what the best solutions were at the time they were signed-off on. Technology changes so fast though that the delta between sign off and 'Ring Time controversy (like what I did there? :D) is such that it's hard to get an honest comparison between what would be possible given the current bleeding edge versus these cars that started life a few technological iterations ago.

-Jamie.
 

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Electricity is the universal "currency" of energy, Wind, solar, oil, natural gas any can all be converted to electricity. There is always a loss when converting energy sources but electricity is easier to store and transport than any other form. There are larger gains to be made in lightweight batteries, storage capacities and motor efficiencies, I think the future is hybrid even for smaller or less costly autos.
ah yes, you're right, what I was trying to say was the inefficiency to these batteries, I got mixed up with labelling that with just saying electricity. The manufacturing processes relative to that of the storage and output is less efficient, what bugs me is that they market this as the future, and green and eco and all that malarky, but the mainstream don't realise how opposite it is to manufacture them vs their life span and any maintenance. However you have to start somewhere, and its about bloody time as well.

I also agree with Jamie, these hypercars took time to develop and are a result of years worth of development, compared to that today they're already probably drawing and developing up the next big thing, the process never stops it can only progress and refine
 

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Yes but this is where the p1 shines as its still lighter than a 911 gt3 yet has twice the power. sure id like to see it around 2800 lbs but that means losing the batteries and power and perhaps safety. I think we're seeing the limits on what can be achieved on unleaded pump gas which is where the electric comes in.
 

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Yes but this is where the p1 shines as its still lighter than a 911 gt3 yet has twice the power. sure id like to see it around 2800 lbs but that means losing the batteries and power and perhaps safety. I think we're seeing the limits on what can be achieved on unleaded pump gas which is where the electric comes in.
Uh, think the P1 was listed at dry weight 1400kg... how does that make it lighter than a gt3?
 

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The interesting thing about all this is that the market trumps everything. Even heavy-handed and silly government intrusion into that free market will eventually be overcome. If a solution is truly better and cost-effective, it will see wide spread adoption.

The amount of money that our governments spent on dead end tech is astonishing. Most were dead before the know-nothings funded and/or incentivized the tech. Yet in every comparo done with electric/hybrid cars vs modern diesels the diesels win. In performance, convenience efficiency, equivalent emissions, environmental impact and of course PRICE.

There is never a return on the initial investment of the premium over an I/C car. But like recycling and religious rituals, they make you feel better. Prius' are status symbols among a certain type. Furthermore, there is so much money at stake and so much meddling by the political class that it will take awhile for the best tech to rise. So the best we can do is wait and hope for the engineers to overcome some basic physics.

Is this the best we have? At the moment driving supercar that gets in the neighborhood of 28mpg if you use a modicum of care is a good start.
 

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I wish the govt would meddle intelligently. How about this. Every new building requires solar panel that feeds back into the grid. The cost would be negligible on new structures. The US is already on edge of net exporting oil. By doing just a little bit more, it totally changes the balance of power with regard to oil dependancy.

There is cool tech where you can have windows that are solar panels, you still see through the windows. NYC alone could benefit hugely. Also saw cool windows that are also LCD panels. How freak'n cool is that. Would love to see the solar combined with the window LCDs. And I want my freak'n flying car already! :)


 

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I just finished watching Chris Harris drive the 918, and like everyone else have watched the P1 ‘Ring video more than once. I have no doubt these cars are monster performers. Likely only a handful of people can ever hope to be able to drive them near the limit. This is part of the whole idea of a supercar—performance without rational boundary. But the supercar is also about showcasing technology, showing the state of the art, and leading the way a bit to the future.

In this regard, I just am not getting the idea behind these hybrids—I don’t doubt that the systems engineering to make it work is tricky, or the suspension work needed to hide the weight is not an easy thing to do. But this is engineering working to overcome fundamental problems with hybrids: they are complicated and heavy. What happened to simplicity as an engineering virtue? These things employ super-clever bits of engineering, but they are not elegant answers to the question of how to design a sport car. Is this really the best we got?

I just wonder if I am alone in this view of the P1/918/LaF? Have I missed it—and this is the future of the automobile? Would love to hear what people think.
What you are seeing is the death of the cars we grew up and loved.
All these hybrids are merely the transition between gasoline and electric cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Happy Holidays, All. Sorry to post, and disappear. Was off the grid for a while.

I appreciate all the replies, and respect all of the various POV's here.

But at the end of the day, I still have my basic question: The Drayson feels like the future. The Tesla feels like the future. These hybrids feel like transitional technologies. I feel all the companies could make better performing machines using advanced IC engines, and pushing for lightweight technology, or go for the full Monty and go the Drayson route.

I also have to say I think the green halo and the mpg claims are comical on cars that uses so much resources. Don't get me wrong--I use my 12C as my commuter car--I think everyone should use the resources they buy how they see fit. But I can't reconcile any green claims with cars of this design.

At the end of the day, I think these cars are cool--super cool even, and I'd love to have any of them. But I feel like they are cars for a point in time--not for the ages (whatever that means).

Happy New Year, once again.
jp
 

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Happy new year to you too! Hope you're having a goold holiday,

ICE engines, has been around since the mid 1800s, todays standards they are extremely, extremely refined. Alot of mainstream cars now use small turbo charges on smaller engines to meet with the emission standards, The ICE engine will slowly die, and I wish it would already, to propel a golden era of alternative propulsion, I am sure however, companies will strive to further refine them even more because it is possible, but as everything things will have to move forward, if there is a market which surely there is, if you look at Tesla, companies will want a piece of that cake too.
 

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Happy Holidays, All. Sorry to post, and disappear. Was off the grid for a while.

I appreciate all the replies, and respect all of the various POV's here.

But at the end of the day, I still have my basic question: The Drayson feels like the future. The Tesla feels like the future. These hybrids feel like transitional technologies. I feel all the companies could make better performing machines using advanced IC engines, and pushing for lightweight technology, or go for the full Monty and go the Drayson route.

I also have to say I think the green halo and the mpg claims are comical on cars that uses so much resources. Don't get me wrong--I use my 12C as my commuter car--I think everyone should use the resources they buy how they see fit. But I can't reconcile any green claims with cars of this design.

At the end of the day, I think these cars are cool--super cool even, and I'd love to have any of them. But I feel like they are cars for a point in time--not for the ages (whatever that means).

Happy New Year, once again.
jp
You keep mentioning the Drayson... you did notice the key problem with the setup, right?

Running Time in Race Mode: >15 minutes

not >20, or >30 or even >60... >15...

Clearly this is FAR from production ready? The issue is batteries, and unless that is solved in a secure way, it is USELESS to even discuss these kinds of cars as production cars.

The Tesla, was never made to perform, its made to cruise at "normal" US Highway speeds.

Otherwise, I do think these cars are right in its time of standard evolution. BMW seems to think the same thing. Look at the i8. Clearly more green than any of the other cars. But also not as fast and powerful.

Also, I said so in another thread, but the P1 for one, is not made to claim to be green. It was made to be in today's emission standards, but a very fast car. Nobody is looking to be green here or such. Simply to best use the power available. And the P1 does that. The Porsche does that in race mode (in other modes it somewhat tries to be an actual hybrid).

The concept is simple: 1) regen energy from deceleration; 2) burn fuel while you actually do not need to, but store the energy in batteries, so that you have more power available when you do want as much power as possible; 3) use the electric engine to achieve faster and more efficient gear changes; 4) use the electric engine to fill power gaps due to turbo charging technology.

The only part thats green in there is 1).
 

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As you say Fabian that's the whole point of what Mcalren have done here,i even suspect to achieve their aims the all electric mode is partly a bi product of what was needed for maximum performance in the first place.:)
 

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The only green thing in the P1 might be the coolant i would imagine!
 

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As you say Fabian that's the whole point of what Mcalren have done here,i even suspect to achieve their aims the all electric mode is partly a bi product of what was needed for maximum performance in the first place.:)
Of course. Battery to Engine Ratio was High enough to warrant powering the car e only for a short time.

They just do not limit the electric engine in e mode which is why if you drive hard in it it can not last long.

Porsche limited the engine I am sure (top speed is not high enough for this to be different) which will give a good % more time in e mode but loses top speed.

Power usage of an electric motor is logarithmic... The more you ask for the faster it's power usage rises.
 
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