Driving a hybrid car has always been a practical and responsible thing to do. Reduced emissions are good for the planet. Increased fuel mileage is good for your wallet. That knowledge made hybrid owners feel pleased with their decision. (As South Park pointed out, some hybrid drivers felt smug enough to smell their own farts.)
But all of the eco- and budget-friendly qualities of the cars couldn’t replace one thing. Fun. Driving a car is not just a utilitarian experience. It should be a pleasurable one, visceral. For all of its advantages, the Toyota Prius never made anyone excited for a red light to turn green because it meant launching off the line.
That is now changing. The world’s top high-performance automobile manufacturers—Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and others—are getting into the hybrid game and they aren’t just producing cars, they’re making supercars. The cars aren’t cheap, some go for more than a million bucks, but these are the kinds of vehicles that really give you a reason to feel smug. And the field is only growing. The successor to the Bugatti Veyron could be a 1,500 horsepower hybrid beast. The next generation Nissan GT-R is rumored to have an electric motor as well. Those are in the future though, For now, here are the 6 most badass hybrid supercars.
It’s weird to call something that costs more than a hundred grand a value, but in this group that’s what the i8 is. The i8 experience starts with the incredibly-designed scissor doors, which open into a cockpit that features a steering wheel with paddle shifters. The plug-in hybrid has a 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine and an electric motor which combine to produce 357 horsepower. It can go 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 160 miles per hour.
The P1 stands as one of the finest supercars ever created. The fact that it is a hybrid is like the cherry on top. Only 375 of the million-dollar-plus cars were created and they all sold out within months. The lucky owners—Jay Leno is one—get to pilot a carbon fiber missile that lapped Germany’s Nurburgring circuit in under seven minutes. The P1 reaches 62 mph in an astonishing 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 217 mph.
Porsche 918 Spyder
From $847,975, porsche.com
The 4.6 liter V8 on the Spyder produces 608 horsepower. It is married with two electric motors which add 279 more ponies for a staggering 887 total horsepower. The 918 was the first production street-legal car to break the seven-minute barrier at the Nuburgring. The top speed is 214 mph and the 918 can reach 93 mph using only its electric motors.
Concept Car, lamborghini.com
The latest addition to the badass hybrid field was revealed by Lamborghini ahead of the Paris auto show. The Asterion LPI 910 Hybrid is technically a concept car, so no need to get on the waiting list at the dealer just yet. (The fact that Lambo’s CEO hated on his own company’s hybrid entry is also puzzling.) Still, if this thing ever does find its way into a driver’s hands they’ll be in for a treat. Designed to be more comfortable for cruising than the McLaren or Porsche, it’s still hits 62 mph in three seconds flat and tops out at 199 mph.
$1,375,000 (estimated), ferrari.com
There are a lot of superlatives that can be attached to the first hybrid ever produced by Ferrari. It is the fastest prancing horse and also the most expensive. But people are willing to pay double the retail price for one of the 499 LaFerraris because it is so damn awesome. The hypercar hits 62 mph in 2.6 seconds and can reach 218 mph.
It isn’t just the Italians and Germans getting in on the hybrid supercar craze. Renovo Motors’ Coupe claims to be the first all electric American supercar. Built on the chassis of a Shelby, the car produces 1,000 ft-lbs. of torque and has a top speed of 120 miles per hour and hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The range of the Coupe is somewhat limited at 100 miles, but that’s more than enough time to flex some good ol’ American hybrid muscle.