Monday, October 14, 2013

British brand takes a swipe at latest hybrid hypercars and confirms V12s will remain in its future.

Aston Martin will resist building a hybrid-powered sports car for as long as possible and will continue to offer V12 engines for the foreseeable future.
The boss of the British sports car brand, Dr Ulrich Bez, has rubbished the latest generation of petrol-electric hypercars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, claiming the additional weight of the batteries spoils the purity of extreme machines and the benefits of hybrids are not want elite customers desire.
“We will not have a hybrid in next year or the year after,” he said during the launch of the Vanquish Volante convertible and Vantage V12 S in Palm Springs this week.
“Hybridisation has two aspects; like in F1 to pass someone, which is irrelevant on the road, and the other is to be more fuel efficient. But it is very simple; if you drive a little slower you will be much better off.”
Bez believes there are still greater improvements to be made in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, reducing weight and improving the economy of petrol engines, including downsizing the capacity, before accepting that hybrid is a possibility for Aston Martin.
“I am a purist and I think a sports car should have as low weight as possible. It should be in as minimalistic as it can be and this does not work with hybridisation,” he said.
“I don’t think it is necessary to give me a power shot on the road. I don’t think I need something that gives me 100hp more. I do not know why I need an extra 100kg just to get those things.
“I think a pure sports car does not need this.”
However, the 1700kg weight of Porsche’s 918 Spyder (or 1640kg with the optional Weissach performance kit) is lighter than many of Aston Martin’s sports cars. The hybrid LaFerrari is also significantly lighter (at about 1300kg), as is McLaren’s P1.
Bez also has concerns over the reliability and longevity of complex electrical systems.
“I think it is great technology, but if you think about the biggest failures in cars these days it is electrical failures. And what we do is make more and more electrical systems and we believe it will be much better.
“Maybe I am too old for those things. Minimalistic engineering is where we should be and not in those things.”
He also re-iterated how important the V12 engine is to Aston Martin, and is confident the British brand will be able to continue with the layout for some years to come, hinting that a smaller capacity option may be open to them when it locks-in the technical alliance with Mercedes-Benz that is currently working on.
“I do believe [the V12] is very dear to us,” he said.
“If it comes to a luxury car with emotion, a V12 has something special. This will still be there within the next five to 10 years, but it does not mean it will be six litres - it can be five litres or a smaller one. It will improve with power and fuel consumption.”
“We have already improved every year, and over the past five years we have improved by 30 per cent. We will keep going and doing this with more efficient engines, less weight and aluminium and carbon.
“I will exhaust any limits the regulations give me. We will meet all legislations standards to reduce CO2, but we will do this with higher efficiency.”

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