How have they made this possible?
The Quaranta is powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which employs a 3.3 liter gasoline engine in combination with two electrical motors to power all four wheels of the Quaranta.
Generating 268 horsepower in total, the gasoline engine is electronically controlled and uses a continuously variable transmission to stay in sync with the electric motors.
At full gallop, the entire power plant is utilized, but when cruising, the four wheel drive is deactivated and only the two rear wheels are used to maintain a steady speed, increasing fuel savings.
The engine system is mounted in the rear of the vehicle, in order to improve handling, and the vehicle can travel 1000 kilometers before needing to refuel.
Visually, the Italdesign Giugiaro Quaranta has a windswept look, with a long flat black panel rising up from the front bumper and stretching over the passenger compartment all the way to the small, upturned rear deck. The roof integrates solar panels which can sink as much as 250 watts of power back into the batteries powering the electrical motors.
The batteries are also charged through regenerative braking. The doors of this striking vehicle open upwards, and the trunk and engine bay is accessed from a panel on the top rear of the car. The overall shape of the car also lends itself well to cutting through the air at high speeds.
Side inlets act as front stabilizers on the fascia of the vehicle, and straight edges on the rear combine with a squared spoiler to keep the car planted when speeds are in the triple digits.
Helping to keep things light, the frame of the car’s structure is made from carbon monocoque that uses the vehicle’s body panels to bear structural loads. The rest of the vehicle is composed of steel, aluminum and glass.
The vehicle’s ride height is controllable by the driver, with a sport and ‘raised’ position for traveling over rough terrain or transition over curbs.
Interestingly, almost none of the weight of the car rests on either the front or rear wheel overhangs: other than the radiator and the rear trunk, ever other mechanical component is sandwiched in between the front and rear tires. This means that entering into a corner there is no mass pulling the vehicle out of the safest or fastest line.
Will this car ever find a market? While it certainly is visually arresting, are there those that would be willing to spend so much money on a supercar and yet be saddled with the relatively pedestrian Toyota drive train?
It is indeed a curious mix of environmental ethics that makes someone spend so much to demonstrate that they are committed to consuming so few resources.