A formative process is underway, and a foundation is being established at the high (really high…) end of the performance automotive spectrum right now. You'll need 7 figures to get a taste of today's performance hybrid technology, but it seems only a matter of time until that formula becomes common across the range of performance vehicles, and mini LaFerrari's, McLaren P1's, and Porsche 918 Spyder's are the norm. With ever-tightening environmental restrictions, even the shift to forced induction won't be sufficient; hybrid power is a necessity.
If hybrid tech sounds lame to you, prepare to reevaluate your prejudices. Thanks to the brilliance and, so it would seem, recalcitrance of the engineers behind those hypercars, hybrid technology has officially been weaponized.
In fact, hybrid technology might be the most significant engine/powertrain performance breakthrough in decades, never mind it being crucial to the very continuation of the performance automobile.
"Torque fill" is a term that we'll be hearing more about as this technology filters down through the performance car ranks. In basic terms, torque fill is the process by which hybrid electric power is metered into the powertrain.
The most obvious application for torque fill is as an adjunct to turbocharged engines. Electric power is "plugged in" wherever there are inherent engine power weaknesses, dips, or deficient engine responsiveness.
But torque fill can be used as a supplement to just about any engine, no matter how excessive, as demonstrated by the Ferrari FXX K.
Torque fill is assigned under specific conditions. We speculate that in Ferrari V12 application, that programming occurs primarily at low revs. (Conjecture supported by Chris Harris's report that rapid corner exit can be accomplished in a gear higher than anticipated.)
What's comes through loud and clear in this video is the fact that hybrid power silently adds to, and enhances the performance experience. If it can optimize a Ferrari V12 experience, then imagine torque fill's potential contribution to more common turbocharged powerplants.
As electric technology progresses it seems the only restrictions will be the good sense of the engineers (we hope not), and the traction limitation of performance tires.
Ready for torque fill? Sign us up.