Mississippi State Students Develop 100-MPG Hybrid Subaru BRZ
The Premium and Limited 2016 Subaru BRZ models both manage an impressive 30 mpg on the highway—impressive considering the BRZ’s power at least. But is 30 really the number we as an automotive community are collectively okay with settling on? For many gearheads, the answer is ostensibly yes, because the rear-wheel-drive BRZ kicks butt on the road. But for Mississippi State University students, faculty, and alum, that number could be better.
This month, those very researchers at MSU presented their idea of the “Car of the Future,” a hybrid Subaru BRZ capable of 100 miles per gallon. To do so, they did what will make several Subaru loyalists cringe—they removed the legendary boxer engine and replaced it with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. They also made the BRZ a whopping 40% lighter by using a cast magnesium subframe, which acts as a mounting point for the hybrid BRZ’s dual electric motors.
This surprisingly efficient BRZ can achieve 50 miles on just electric power, but when it combines gasoline and battery power, it sees 100+ miles per gallon.
“Mississippi State is anticipating and adapting to the needs of an accelerating automotive industry. Our engineering design teams are trained to recognize the industry’s directional changes and innovate advanced systems, from predictive engine management to regenerative braking systems and more,” explained MSU president Mark E. Keenum.
The students and faculty took the 100-MPG hybrid BRZ to the Society of Automotive World Engineers Congress early this April in Detroit. If you missed the display, you can check out the short video below, which shows the hybrid BRZ in action.
Tim Shults likes to play golf and spend time with his four daughters.