Namir: World's Fastest Plug-in Hybrid
By EV World
The misperception that electric cars, in general, and hybrid's in particular can't be pulse-raising, adrenaline-surging, libedo-liberating sex symbols died this week in Geneva, Switzerland when Frazer-Nash pulled the wraps off its Giugiaro-designed and built Namir series hybrid electric sports car.
Propelled by 370 hp (270kW) paired twin electric motors powered by lithium polymer batteries, the two-passenger car is designed to have a top speed in excess of 300 km/hr (187mph) and be able to accelerate from zero-to-60 in 3.5 seconds, besting even the Tesla Roadster. Zero-to-200 km/hr is just 10.4 seconds, enabling the companies to boost it is the fastest hybrid car in the world.
But unlike the other erotic sports machines on the floor at the 2009 Geneva International Auto Show, it does this with staggering efficiency. Frazer-Nash and the Italian design firm of Giugiaro, which collaborated on the car, claim it will produce just 60g of CO2 per kilometer. Augmenting the 400-Volt battery pack (total kWh capacity or manufacturer not disclosed) is a 814 CC rotary engine APU that runs off gasoline (petrol). The designers estimate that the 50 litre fuel tank, which is integrated into the carbon-fiber chassis, gives the Namir -- Arabic for 'Tiger' -- a cruising range of nearly 2,000 km (1,200 mi).
According to Italdesign Giugiaro's press release, the 3,196 lb vehicle consumes one litre of fuel per 39 kilometers or the equivalent of 2.56L/100 km (92 mpg). The two-passenger coupe makes extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum for lightness and cabin safety. The passengers sit in a carbon fiber cocoon that also surrounds the rear drive system.
Italdesign's Engineering and Giugiaro Styling divisions handled the development of the vehicle, while Frazer-Nash engineered the series hybrid drivetrain. Four electric motors are paired, two in front and two behind the bucket seat-equipped cockpit. These are electronically controlled. The joint press-release states that, "Software manages the power load to the drive as needed, according to driving and terrain conditions, making use of all the electronic control systems used in mass-produced vehicles: ABS, drive control, and stability control."
The Namir cockpit includes three touch screen monitors.
"The central monitor hosts the speedometer, tachometer, and trip data; the one to the right is dedicated to entertainment with information from the GPS, the hifi, air conditioning, and relative controls; the left screen is dedicated to technical information like the battery charge, fuel level, interior and exterior temperature, and warning messages."
As would be expected, much of the interior design reflects the minimalist esthetic of the racing circuit, though care was taken to ensure passenger comfort with the extensive use of fine English tweed and Italian leather.
While there is little likelihood the Namir will see series production, it does serve as a demonstration testbed for Frazer-Nash's Plug-in Series Hybrid Technology, which it hopes to someday see incorporated into future 'green' vehicles. To see more computer illustrations of the Namir, click the 35mm slide icon below.
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