Hybrid lorry beats Ferrari in a drag race

Lorries are one of the slowest vehicles on the road, as are hybrids. So a hybrid lorry should barely move, right? Wrong.

Lorries are one of the slowest kinds of vehicle on the road, as are hybrids. So when you combine the two, logic dictates you should end up with a vehicle that can barely move, right? Wrong.

Volvo disproved this theory recently when its hybrid truck, the appropriately named Mean Green, went up against a Ferrari in an exhibition race and won. 

It's probably worth noting Mean Green is not your average lorry. It's powered by a 16-litre, 700bhp engine that, with the aid of a pair of turbochargers and a 200bhp electric motor, produces a total power output of 1,900bhp and 1,100Nm of torque. That's quite a lot.

Mean Green's performance isn't due to sheer power alone. It also benefits from super slippery aerodynamics and a comprehensive weight-loss programme. Its front axle has been reduced from 100kg to 57kg, for example. Its makers also removed the gear set for first gear from its gearbox, which shaved another 7kg from the total package. Even the driver, Boije Overbrink, was asked to lose 20kg from his own fleshy chassis.

The result of all this, as you'll see in the video embedded below, is that Mean Green is pretty freaking fast. The Ferrari 360 Spider gets off the line more sharply at the start of the race, but once Mean Green is doing 60kph, Overbrink shifts straight into ninth gear and later roars past the startled supercar, snatching victory at the line.

Have a butchers' at the video for yourself below, but be warned -- it might just change your mind about hybrids.