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Bentley Confirms Plans for Plug-in Hybrid SUV

System to debut sometime after 2015.

by on Mar.07, 2013

The Bentley EXP 9F prototype during its 2012 unveiling.

Those who think batteries are for pint-sized electric vehicles and hybrids need to visit this year’s Geneva Motor Show where “electrification” has become the buzz word among high-line makers like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren – and Bentley.

In an exclusive conversation with, the British marque’s technology chief confirmed that Bentley will go into production with a long-rumored gas-electric driveline.

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“The SUV will get a plug-in,” declared tech chief Rold Frech, during a discussion at the Geneva Motor Show. But he stressed that a number of details have yet to be locked down, including the layout of the plug-in package and the precise introduction date.


A 900 hp Hybrid? Think Ferrari

Italian maker's Enzo successor coming to Detroit Auto Show.

by on Oct.09, 2012

An image from Ferrari shows how the V-12 and HY-KERS hybrid system will fit inside the new supercar debuting in Detroit next January.

Mention hybrids and most folks will likely picture a slow and staid automobile whose primary advantage is fuel efficiency.  But a new Ferrari, codenamed F150, is likely to change that perception.

And, no, that’s not the Italian maker’s first-ever truck.  F150 is internal code for what is expected to be the successor to the legendary Ferrari Enzo.  What name it will use in the showroom remains a top secret but Italian media are speculating it could be the F70.

Based on an ultra-light carbon fiber chassis, the new model is expected to pack a 900-horsepower drivetrain into its engine bay, a powertrain pairing a V-12 gasoline engine and a lithium-ion-based hybrid system.

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To put things into comparison, that’s nine times more than the standard Toyota Prius and seven times more than the bigger Prius V. Measured another way, Ferrari has revealed the F150 will make about 0.61 horsepower per pound of weight, one of the best power-to-weight ratios ever seen, so 0 to 60 times could be at least four times faster than that of your everyday hybrid.


A Replacement for Displacement? Luxury Makers Betting On It

Luxury makers Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley explore smaller and alternative engines.

by on Jan.18, 2011

Porsche's 918 RSR race car will use a hybrid powertrain to give it a track edge.

“There’s no replacement for displacement,” goes the old automotive adage, and nowhere has that approach carried more weight than in the luxury market, where big V8s and V12s are the norm, rather than the exception.

At least until now.  But with U.S. regulators looking at a 62 mpg CAFE standard and even tougher restrictions likely to go into effect in Europe, luxury makers like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley are looking to downsize their powertrain line-up.

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The trend is already apparent in the mainstream of luxury models, where four-cylinder gas and small turbocharged diesels have become as much the norm as the exception.  But the shift is beginning to take hold in even the most performance-oriented models, such as those produced by Ferrari, Bentley and Mercedes’ AMG division. (more…)

Ferrari Reportedly Readying Hybrid Enzo

Will base top-line supercar on Hy-kers concept from Geneva.

by on Sep.09, 2010

The Ferrari Hy-kers concept will serve as a foundation for the maker's first hybrid supercar.

Ferrari is going green(ish?), the Italian maker reportedly readying a kinetic energy-based hybrid system that will be used in the replacement for its top-line supercar, the Enzo.

The technology will be similar to the gas-electric system the maker’s Formula One team has been experimenting with, while the vehicle itself is expected to bear a strong similarity to the 599 Hy-kers concept car Ferrari brought to the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Like the rest of the industry, Ferrari is coming under increasing pressure to clean up its emissions, especially in Europe, where tough new CO2 standards are going into effect.  Most of its high-line competitors are exploring their electric options and some, like Mercedes-Benz, are openly embracing the potential advantages of battery power, which can yield enormous torque as soon as a vehicle’s motor starts spinning.  Mercedes is currently field testing a battery-powered version of its new SLS supercar, while rival Audi’s eTron would provide an electric alternative to the R8.

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At the Geneva show, senior Ferrari officials indicated the Hy-kers was more than just a pie-in-the-sky show car.  But Auto Week magazine is now quoting the maker’s CEO Luca di Montezemelo as confirming there will be a battery-electric successor to the Enzo, a limited-edition carbon fiber supercar, of which just 400 were produced between 2002 and 2004.