The world's fastest plug-in hybrid


Apparently high-performance electric vehicles are today's supercar du jour (see Tesla Roadster and OBVIO! 828). British firm PML decided, however, that not enough attention was being paid to in-wheel electric motor technology (except by Mitsubishi?), and decided to build a platform on which to showcase the technology.

The PML MINI QED sports four in-wheel electric motors, each of which produce 160 bhp for a total of 640 all-electric bhp. That power can propel the EV MINI to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 150 mph. A battery pack and bank of ultracapacitors is at the ready to dish out enough wattage to power the car for four hours, while there's a 250cc 2-cylinder four-stroke gas engine on board to generate more electricity for longer trips. It can even be plugged in to recharge at night, making it unofficially the fastest plug-in hybrid in the world.

Drivers can select between three modes that will affect the MINI QED's range: Eco, Normal and Sport mode, the latter of which unleashes the electron-induced fury of PML's powertrain. Unfortunately, it's just a what-if vehicle, although PML says it's open to adapting its system for use in other commercially available vehicles.

(PDF specs of PML MINI QED can be found here and more pics are after the jump)

[Source: PML, Channel4]