A 187-MPH Hybrid As Fast As It Is Green

By dancurranjr On March 13th, 2009

giugiaro_namir_conceptItaldesign Giugiaro is a familiar name to gearheads the world over, and its designs for everything from Hyundai to Ferrari are well known. Frazer-Nash, on the other hand, is generally considered the answer to a trivia question, but it was once a respected sports car company.

All of those names came together at the Geneva Motor Show to bring us the Namir concept, which combines Prius-beating fuel economy with Ferrari-like speed to produce what the companies say is the quickest, greenest hybrid on the planet.

Namir is Arabian for tiger, by the way. Given the specs on this ride, that name sure fits.

That’s right, this angular, scissor-doored sports car concept is a hybrid. The drivetrain was designed by Frazer-Nash, which Archie Frazer-Nash founded in England in 1923. Once a sports car maker, the company is now in the business of designing, building and marketing hybrid systems. The Namir combines an 814 cc endothermic rotary engine with four electric motors in a system that those involved in project claim delivers 91 mpg and CO2 emissions of 60 g/km. The Toyota Prius emits 104 g/km. Those are impressive numbers, but the number that really wows us is the claimed top speed of 187 mph and a zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds.

In theory, anyway, given that it’s a concept.

But the Namir is more than a design exercise. It’s a fully developed prototype. Giugiaro’s engineering division handled the chassis, body, and mechanical layout while the Italdesign Giugiaro Style Center penned the exterior and interior. Frazer-Nash oversaw the electrical and electronic elements, and the whole thing was built by Italdesign Giugiaro plant.

Who knows if this will ever see production. But Italdesign Giugiaro and Frazer-Nash are outside design and consulting firms, so they will work for companies like General Motors, Chrysler or anyone else in desperate need of a high-performance fuel efficient car to boost their sex appeal and CAFE numbers.


The Namir: The Sleekest, Fastest Hybrid Car That Won’t Be Built

By dancurranjr On March 11th, 2009

namirThink “hybrid eco-powered car” and you think “Prius” right? Well you shouldn’t. You should substitute the mental image of that conventional, if revolutionary auto for the Frazer-Nash Namir from Giugiaro for two reasons. Firstly because it’s a whole league of flashiness above Toyota’s vaguely bug-eyed design. And secondly because the Namir will top-out at 187 mph.

The Namir’s was revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s laying claim to the title of “fastest hybrid car in the world.” Glancing at the photos you may also think “the most orange-colored hybrid car in the world” would be a fitting title, but I think that the overall super-car-like design mostly excuses the paint work.

The Namir’s jaw-dropping abilities don’t stop at its looks. Inside of it sits a Wankel rotary engine that displaces just 814cc, electric all-wheel drive and a lithium-ion battery unit. Overall the power unit delivers 370hp. And as a result the 0-62 mph time is a vanishing 3.5 seconds, the 124 mph time is 10.4 seconds and the top speed is 187mph. That acceleration is only just behind the fastest accelerating production car, the Bugatti Veyron, that manages 0-62 mph in 2.45 seconds…though it does so with a quad-turbocharged W16 gasoline engine.

In contrast the Namir pushes out just 60kg/km of CO2, or around 60% of the latest road-legal hybrid cars, and manages a fuel efficiency of around 92 miles per U.S. gallon–which is about twice as efficient as driving a Prius. And with a full tank of gas it can go over 1,200 miles without a refill or recharge, and that’s a far cry from the early days of hybrid gas-electric cars–incidentally a technology that’s been 100 years in the making.

Those stats are staggering–they make it sound as if we should all be driving Namirs just for the sake of saving the planet. Such a shame that this machine will probably never make it past the concept phase. As Jalopnik puts it: “Odds Of Production: 99,999,000,000-to-1.” Though even if it did surpass the “just a dream” stage and make it onto the roads, you can bet its price wouldn’t look very different from that number.

SOURCE: Fast Company