Once upon a time, cars were merely works of the imagination. It took a while before society accepted that they could transition from horse-driven carts to actual engines that you can drive using oil as power. The concept of a gasoline-powered vehicle was once deemed as impossible. Today, cars continue to evolve that we are now looking at solar-powered vehicles, electric cars that you can charge, along with many other fascinating features. There is the Tesla car and cars that could drive themselves don’t seem like a fantasy anymore. So what is this hypercar and is it actually the car of the future? Not quite. The concept has been around for quite some time.
A hypercar is a concept car developed by Amory Lovins who is an analyst at the Rocky Mountain Institute. He conceptualized this concept vehicle to have an ultra-light construction and its body has an aerodynamic design. It’s made with advanced composite materials and features low-drag design and hybrid drive. Designers of this car claim that it would help improve the fuel economy from 3 to 5 folds. It would have better performance, provide more safety and amenity, and would be a lot more affordable than today’s cars.
History of the Hypercar
The Rocky Mountain Institute where Amory Lovins conceptualized the hypercar founded the Hypercar Center in 1994. This was intended to help prove the concept car’s technical feasibility and how realistic it could be to be in the market. They placed the concept in public domain to increase competition in order to capture its market and advantages in manufacturing.
This car is imagined to be a hybrid electric or hydrogen-fueled vehicle, designed with very few parts. It’s lightweight because of its carbon construction but stronger than steel. It weighed half of what a regular car would even though they are the same in size. The car could travel the equivalent of 300 miles to the gallon. What’s great about the hypercar is that it’s supposed to produce next to no emissions and could also work as a power plant on wheels when it’s stationary because of its batteries. This eliminates the need to use nuclear power or coal stations.
In 1999, the Rocky Mountain Institute or RMI launched a for-profit venture called Hypercar, Inc. to take the next steps. It was an independent company that took the lead in advancing the key areas of the research and development of the car. By 2004, the name was changed to Fiberforge which better reflects the company’s goal of lowering the costs of high-performing vehicles. According to Lovins, the concept car began to be commercialized with the production of the electric BMW i3 which is an all-carbon car along with the Volkswagen XL which runs at 313 miles per gallon.
How Powerful Is a Hypercar?
Hypercars tend to have 800+ horsepower with a top speed that usually ranges between 215 mph and 270 mph depending on the model. Many of the hypercars are hybrids but not all of them are. Most of the time, they are 2-seaters only which makes them more lightweight.
For a car to be considered as a hypercar, it has to be able to go over 200 mph. It can go well beyond 200 but it will always feel like it’s only at 200 even if it’s not. Hypercars are stripped down so that they can go as fast as possible.
Hypercars are super lightweight like they almost weigh nothing. They barely have door handles and some won’t even have some parts that are considered vital in regular cars. It’s highly likely that it wouldn’t have a stereo or air conditioning. Some of them can fit some of these options but most manufacturers will strip these out to make the cars even lighter than they already are. Unlike supercars, you also shouldn’t expect hypercars to have many accessory options such as car phone chargers or phone holders.
Majority of hypercars are limited production. This means that each model only ranges from only a few to a thousand units.
Where Can You Get A Hypercar?
You can only get this type of car in very few places. Some companies don’t always make them and most of the time, they are sold to very rich people before they become available in the market. It’s like trying to get a very posh race car. You usually see them on car shows or on the streets of Monaco.
There is only a small market for hypercars. If you really want to snag one of these, you need to be always on the lookout as they come out. Another challenge that car makers are facing why they can’t just build lots of hypercars is that it is quite difficult to produce cars that will easily go over 200 mph without it being illegal on the streets.
In any case, if you don’t have the money to get an actual hypercar, there are still some tricks that you can do on your own to make a car go faster.
Examples of Hypercars
Some of the hypercars that we have known over the years include the following.
The Pagani Huarya hypercar is said to be the past, present, and future. It’s a timeless interpretation of automotive art. It was conceptualized in 2003. This car has fascinating details and has very low production. Every element of this car has been redesigned to optimize aerodynamics. It has two flaps on the front and two near the rear which helps to maintain downforce.
This hypercar pushes boundaries further than a lot of its rivals. It’s light and agile and works intuitively. You can press one button and you can drive it like an electric car if you want to be slower. And when you’re prepared to go fast, it only takes 30 seconds to engage.
This is a hybrid hypercar that looks like a spaceship and drives like the best you would expect from a Ferrari. There are only 499 units and it features instant throttle response and a natural feel. It features 7 speeds and is extremely easy to handle.