Hybrids have long been associated with economy cars and the sort primed for ride-sharing services, but the term and technology has been undergoing a revolution, becoming a must-have part of the line-up for any manufacturer these days.
Supercar makers are no different, with the technology not just making them more efficient, but lifting power and performance over and above the pure-combustion models that came before.
With Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini leading the charge (no pun intended), here are five of the best new hybrid supercars set to go on sale in the next 12 months.
Ferrari 296 GTB
Ferrari’s hybrid supercar strategy involves a two-tiered approach. The first tier being the brand new 296 GTB. This 818bhp supercar is the less powerful of two Ferrari hybrids on this list, but in this case it also comes with an all-new twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a lower price point that makes it a very exciting new addition to the range.
Aside from its new powertrain, the 296 also introduces another evolution of Ferrari’s design language, pairing contemporary elements with a retro vibe that references one of the Prancing Horse’s biggest Le Mans icons, the lesser-known 250 GTO LM.
So while a special hyper-speed hybrid Ferrari has been seen before, and throwback designs are par for the course, this one manages to combine both into a package that seems destined to become the new backbone of its series production range.
The new Artura might look like just about any other McLaren supercar from the last 10 years, but aside from the use of a phonetic name (as opposed to a collection of numbers and letters) the Atura actually represents the beginning of a new era of McLaren – one underpinned with new finances, and a new hybrid V6 powertrain.
Much like the Ferrari above, the Artura pairs its V6 engine with a single electric motor, which sits between it and the SSG twin-clutch transmission, but produces lower power and torque figures – which is to be expected considering its lower price point. Still, the Artura’s 681bhp combined output will make it considerably faster than its predecessor.
The Countach has returned! Well, sort of, because Lamborghini decided to celebrate 50 years of the Countach with this limited-build special edition model, complete with an 800bhp-plus mild-hybrid powertrain packing a supercapacitor, replacing the traditional battery.
Underneath the Countach is the same carbon fibre-intensive chassis and suspension as the Aventador, and you can tell. Despite featuring styling motifs from various Countach models over the years, it certainly channels modern Lambo.
However, what the new Countach has not done is embody the spirit of the original according to Marcello Gandini, the iconic Italian designer responsible for the 1971 concept. A leviathan of the design world, both in automotive and the wider design field, he has been responsible for defining not just one generation of supercar, but many. So why the controversy? Well, Gandini has not only sought to publicly distance himself from the new Countach, but actively denounce it via a press release, confirming that he had nothing to do with the new model’s design and that it “breaks the sprit of innovation” imbued in his original – one he says is absent in new version. Ouch.
Ferrari SF90 Stradale
If the new V6-powered 296 GTB is Ferrari taking the less-is-more approach to its new supercars, consider the SF90 Stradale a counterbalance. The SF90 is all about the numbers, with a peak power figure of nigh-on 1,000hp (986bhp to be precise), three electric motors, a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, it’s the most complex and tech-dense supercar in Ferrari’s history.
The SF90’s performance, as one would expect, is pretty out-of-this-world thanks to its hybrid powertrain, reaching 62mph in 2.5sec and going on to 211mph. These figures are on standard road-going tyres too, so equipped with more capable rubber, we’d suggest even more performance would be achievable.
What’s the catch? Well aside from the £376,048 base price (not that an SF90 will ever likely leave the factory without expensive options), the SF90’s weight figure is also pretty serious at 1570kg dry (without any fluids) – making it somewhat of a bull in a china shop to drive.
Honda NSX Type S
If you’re looking for innovation in supercar design and engineering at a mortal level, leave it to the Japanese to make it happen. The NSX has been around since 2016, yet incorporates the same sort of technology only just now reaching Ferraris and McLaren. So while it may lack the big numbers of its more expensive European rivals, the NSX’s (relative) accessibility and pioneering sprit more than make up for it.
The new Type S will be the last of its type, though. Built predominantly for the American markets, only a handful will reach its native Japan – and Europe won’t get any at all. What’s more painful is that historically, last of the line Japanese supercars like the previous NSX only got better over time, and with calibration being as important as blood and sweat engineering in the execution of how these cars drive, we can only guess how good the new Type S might be.