Thursday, September 4, 2014

Plug In Sports Cars Rated by the EPA

No long ago a hyper car's EPA fuel economy was nothing more than a specs footnote. These days however the owner and fan bragging rights might extend beyond acceleration and lap times and into EPA ratings. Earlier this year the Porsche 918 Spyder became the first plug in hyper car to be rated by the EPA to the tune of 20 mpg city and 24 mpg on the highway along with a gasoline equivalent of 67 mpg while operating solely on electricity. No longer is the 918 Spyder the only (almost) million dollar member of the plug in hybrid club as the McLaren P1 is now also officially rated by the EPA. The P1 is good for 16 mpg city and 20 highway and 17 in combined driving. It appears that while you can get up to 19 miles of plug in assisted driving from the battery, the benefits are so tiny that you will end up averaging only 1 mpg better driving as a plug in. For reference the McLaren 650S that uses a lower output version of the same 3.8 twin turbo V8 is good for 16 city and 22 highway, but of course the P1 blows it away performance wise. Thus the P1 does pretty well for greatly increasing performance while minimizing fuel economy loses. More impressive mpg wise, is the BMW i8 which is officially good for 28 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway as a hybrid and will deliver a combined gasoline and electricity usage rate of 76 mpg as a plug in in its first 15 miles. Of course the i8 is playing in the minor leagues performance wise compared to the 918 and the P1 but it's fun to compare regardless. It's unknown yet how well the last plug in hyper car, the Ferrari LaFerrari will do, but Ferrari has been able to harness the efficiency of the turbo to achieve an EPA rating of 16/23 for the California T. It's a decent improvement over the 14/19 rating of the original California.

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