We’ve been fanning over the upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid that promises 795 horsepower, all-wheel drive and stellar fuel economy, since forever. We’re also highly curious about Ferrari’s hybrid system on its new Enzo replacement.
We did not know there was an American supercar capable, at least on screen, of competing with either of these two. It’s called the Kepler Motion.
Before this week, we had never heard of Kepler Motors, a California startup that has been developing its own hybrid supercar since 2009. Named after 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who studied planetary motion at the dawn of modern physics, Kepler Motors is out to build just 50 cars. It hasn’t named a price, and we have no idea how much fuel the car will save over a traditional supercar. What we do know is that it packs 800 horsepower, all-wheel drive, a claimed zero-to-60 time of less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph.
A twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 — the same one found in the F-150 and Taurus — sits behind the driver with a boatload more boost. Instead of the stock 355 horsepower, it’s now a monstrous 550. While that engine drives the rear wheels, two electric motors making an additional 250 horsepower drive the front. It’s a similar setup to the 918, although Porsche uses a V8 and drenches it in racing technology we can’t come to understand.
Can this new American exotic — with a few wide body-panel gaps as seen in the video below — really beat established European automakers making the best of the insanely best cars in the world? We hope Kepler can at least match them, especially if it gets the backing to build more than a few dozen cars.