Let me post this question first... Is there such a thing as an off-road sportscar, or is that a contradiction in terms? I thought for a moment about that, and decided, sure... why not? A reasonable case could be made that some of the off-road dune buggy's like the Meyers Manx kits could be considered off-road sportcars. What do you think?
Before you answer, consider this concept vehicle. Edmunds is reporting that the car was designed by students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin, Italy, and shown in Geneva. The students were helped along by Luca Borgogno, a designer for Pininfarina. Unique aspects of the drivetrain, even to hybrids, are what they are calling a thermal/electric powerplant. Exactly what that means is not clear. The power from the engine is transmitted to the wheels via hydraulic lines to each wheel. I am not certain, but what I imagine this means is that the hybrid powerplant drives a hydraulic pump to four individual hydraulic motors at each wheel. Interesting, I wonder what the power loss of this system would be as compared to a more traditional approach, like four electric motors, one at each wheel like some other concepts we have seen.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]