Yet another hybrid supercar

Kepler will unveil the Motion hybrid supercar at the Dubai Motor Show.

Kepler Motion
The Motion uses an electric motor to drive the front wheels, and an Ecoboost engine on the rear axle. Kepler Motors

The phrase "hybrid supercar" gets plenty of use these days as a variety of automotive start-ups combine electric motors and gas engines to get outstanding 0 to 60 mph times, usually combined with claims of world-beating range on a single tank of gas. And we get excited every time we run across a new one. That's why a news release from Kepler Motors spiked our adrenaline when we saw it in the Monday morning in-box.

Kepler developed the Motion, a concept hybrid to debut at the 2009 Dubai International Motor Show. What's interesting about this car is that it uses Ford's new Ecoboost engine, a twin turbo direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 to drive the rear wheels, while an electric motor drives the fronts, giving the car all-wheel-drive. And we assume there is some control software to drive the wheels at the same speeds.

Even more interesting, and showing the potential of Ford's Ecoboost engine, is that Kepler tweaked it to output 550 horsepower. In the Lincoln MKS we tested recently, the same engine only makes 355 horsepower. The electric motor on the front wheels produces 250 horsepower, making for a combined 800 horsepower for the powertrain. But we wonder how much of that power actually gets put to the ground.

Kepler says the Motion will get to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds, but doesn't specify whether that number is based on actual tests or calculations. With this hybrid supercar announcement, there were no claims as to range.

To keep the weight down, the Motion uses a carbon fiber body, along with carbon ceramic brake rotors. Kepler says the two-seat cabin is designed to hold people of above-average size, suggesting the company expects luxury buyers rather than racers.

Don't expect to see one in your neighborhood, though--Kepler will only build 50, with production starting in 2011.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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