Plug-in hybrid BRZ has snowmobile engine, gets 104mpg
How would you feel about a plug-in hybrid Subaru BRZ? What if we tell you it gets 104 mpg and is faster than the stock model. Interested now?
Its creators are calling it the “Car of the Future”, but the Subaru fans among you might not be convinced when we tell you it’s basically a plug-in hybrid BRZ.
But don’t let the thought of a hybrid BRZ put you off though as the performance figures are definitely not shabby.
The result of a two-year project by Mississippi State University’s Centre of Advanced Vehicular Systems, the hybrid BRZ was revealed last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress event in Detroit.
The BRZ’s 2-litre boxer engine has been removed and replaced with a front-mounted 850cc two-cylinder snowmobile engine and two electric motors, which power the rear wheels. In full electric mode the BRZ can do 50 miles.
Matthew Doude, the leader of the project, said that the team of students started by completely stripping the BRZ back to its bare chassis. They then scanned it into computer-aided design software and packaged all of the various components in the program before installing anything in the car.
The two motors in the rear of the car needed a completely new magnesium subframe, which was designed and built by the students. In fact, the only stock suspension components are the trailing arms.
According to the university, the hybrid BRZ achieves a rather impressive 104 mpg and only weighs 2,904 lbs – about 60 lbs more than an unmodified Sportshift BRZ.
It’s not all about fuel efficiency, however, as the car also boasts some rather exciting performance statistics too. It can do 0-60mph in just 5.7 seconds, which is around second quicker than a stock BRZ.
Perhaps the best part of all though is that the hybrid BRZ still retains the awesome style of the original, which could make people think twice before snubbing a plug-in.
But why go to all this trouble? MSU says the goal of the project was to “promote the range of expertise at the Centre for Advanced Vehicular Systems.” So in other words, “just show off a little of what we can do”. Fair enough…
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