Quanta QHP770 hybrid Chevrolet Corvette, SEMA 2013Enlarge Photo
Automakers have recently discovered a very good way of helping gearheads over their natural mistrust of hybrid vehicles: Making them incredibly powerful. Next year will see the debuts of McLaren's P1, Ferrari's LaFerrari and Porsche's 918 Spyder--hybrids one and all. While not an official factory product and now based on an older model, Quanta's Corvette QHP770 has the same game plan of increased performance through electric assistance.
That QHP770 name gives a not-so-subtle hint as to the Corvette's new output. While the C6 Z06 Corvette's regular LS7 V-8 pumps out 505 horsepower, a pair of 100-kilowatt YASA 750 axial flux electric motors bump that up to 770 horses and a tire-vaporizing 1,500 pound-feet of torque. The motors are connected through the rear differential so the Corvette's drivetrain layout remains the same, though a 400-volt battery pack has been installed to supply power to those motors.
The work of Maryland-based Quanta Hybrid Performance (a new division of Quanta Products LLC),the Corvette QHP770 has been built to demonstrate just what hybrids can be capable of. Unfortunately, no performance figures have been mentioned.
"We are convinced that hybrid vehicle technology has tremendous potential for high performance vehicles," Quanta owner and chief engineer Gary Whiting said in a statement. "We formed Quanta Hybrid Performance so we could demonstrate its relevance and be among the leaders in this development arena."
Quanta's car has spent the last few days wowing the crowds at SEMA in Las Vegas, hoping to gauge opinion on the technology and eventually expand it to other vehicles--including the new Corvette Stingray. Don't laugh--Chevrolet itself is already considering a hybrid Corvette, also swayed by the increased power and driveability these systems offer. But while Chevy has to ensure its customers aren't put off by such a sudden leap in technology, smaller groups like Quanta are free to experiment.
The bottom line? There's a lot more to hybrids than that Prius holding you up down your local back-country road...
For more from the recent 2013 SEMA show, click here.