BRP, in conjunction with the University of Sherbrooke, will be developing a hybrid version of the Can Am Spyder.
BRP’s goal with the Spyder hybrid is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in both fuel consumption and greenhouse gasses, while maintaining the same level of performance as the current model. The Spyder’s current 990 cc V-twin engine produces 100 hp in the RT model and 106 hp in the sportier RS.
To help achieve these numbers, a new 602 cc twin will be developed, and it will be assisted by a 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor. Like Piaggio’s MP3 Hybrid, the Spyder hybrid will have the capability to run on gas, electric or hybrid power.
Projected range in hybrid mode is 600 km, which means that if the Spyder hybrid retains the current model’s 25-litre fuel tank it would consume about 4.1L/100 km. Projected range in electric mode is 30 km. Hybrid mode would provide the added kick to maintain current levels of performance while improving fuel economy and reducing carbon dioxide output.
All R&D work will be done at Centre de Technologies Avancées, the mechanical engineering pavilion of the University of Sherbrooke, which will receive $11.3 million to develop the hybrid drivetrain. Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) will provide $6.2 million, with BRP investing another $5.1 million towards the project.
APC is a five-year initiative launched by the Canadian government to help the Canadian automotive industry recover from the recession by providing funding for automotive R&D through partnerships in industry and academia.
According to BRP president and CEO José Boisjoli, a production version is about five years away.