Better acceleration, cornering, efficiency, and more is possible on all cars.
The BMW i8 and Porsche 918 have more in common than being super cool, hybrid, two-door cars that can go fast. They also have genius gas-electric drivetrains that allow the cars to be all-wheel drive even though two different power sources drive the front and back wheels. Also, they both buy their electric motors from parts supplier GKN, who wants to extend its offerings away from the exclusivity of the i8 and 918 and give it to the public. Its newest motor is intended to fit on small cars like a Ford Focus or a Volkswagen Golf.
The idea here is that the motor fits on the rear axle, powering the rear wheels and turning front-wheel drive cars into plug-in hybrids with rear-wheel drive capability in electric-only mode or all-wheel drive utility with both power plants engaged. The motor would add 88 horsepower to the car, giving a hatch like the Ford Focus ST a bump from 252 horsepower to 340 ponies. With a weight penalty of only 46 pounds, the motor would give a car better acceleration, handling, safety, and fuel economy. We’re really hoping to see this technology soon because telling everyone that you have technology from a Porsche 918 on your Civic might be coolest way to own a hybrid aside from, you know, actually owning a Porsche 918.