Ferrari, Porsche unveil hybrid experiments

Sports car rivals Ferrari and Porsche have both unveiled high-end hybrids at the Geneva Motor Show, promising that hybrid technology can be effectively incorporated into top-of-the-range performance cars.

Ferrari launched its prototype 599 GTB Fiorano, codenamed HY-KERS, saying that it was studying the application of hybrid technology "despite the inevitable disadvantages in terms of weight." As a result of the firm's attempt to offset every kilogram in weight gain by at least one hp, the 100hp electric motor weighs in at around 40kg. The HY-KERS' hybrid powertrain, enclosed in the sleek 599 GTB chassis, works in a similar way to other hybrids, providing full-electric operation or the power of a V12 engine.

German carmaker Porsche has also unveiled three hybrid models, including the production hybrid Porsche Cayenne, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the plugin 918 Spyder.

The 918 Spyder prototype represents Porsche's determination to offer thoroughbred sportscar performance using hybrid technology. Offering fuel consumption of just 3l/100km, the 918 Spyder can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just under 3.2 seconds and tops out at over 320 km/h. It can, says Porsche, achieve a lap time around the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife of under seven and a half minutes - faster than the Porsche Carrera GT.

The Geneva Motor Show opens to the public on March 4 and runs through March 14 at the Palexpo convention centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

Website: http://www.ferrari.com

Website: http://www.porsche.de

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