It’s a rare thing to admire Canadian-built vehicles on our roads. The Can-Am Spyder
built by Bombardier, the only mass production vehicle manufactured here, manages to turn heads wherever it goes and enjoys incredible success the world over.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Bombardier is currently perfecting a hybrid version as powerful and fun to ride as the current motorcycle/four-wheeler powered by a 998-cc Rotax engine. To do so, the Centre de technologies avancées BRP (CTA) of the Université de Sherbrooke has received grants totalling 11.3 million dollars, created to promote automotive research in Canada.
The unique structure of the Spyder poses quite a challenge to the team of engineers, who are looking to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 50% while ensuring an operating range of 600 and 30 km on hybrid and electric energy, respectively.
In order to maintain the same level of performance as the 990 RS, the engineers were asked to develop a new propulsion system instead of modifying existing hybrid technologies. The diminutive machine has to be built from lighter parts to compensate for the additional weight of the hybrid system. The Spyder’s profile also has to be adapted to improve aerodynamics as well as brake and radiator cooling.
The CTA plans on producing three generations of prototypes and their components over the next four years in order to offer a final product that will meet performance, reliability, durability and economic mass production requirements.