hybrid cars

hybrid cars

  A hybrid vehicle uses multiple propulsion systems to provide motive power. This most commonly refers to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, which use gasoline (petrol) and electric batteries to power internal-combustion engines (ICEs) and electric motors.

Famous for dropping more horsepower and torque in nearly every available Volvo model, ranging from the small C30 hatch to the V60 wagon, Polestar just added a new vehicle to its high-performance lineup. This time around, the Swedes got a hold of Volvo’s V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid wagon, turning it into a more powerful, yet still fuel efficient vehicle. Unlike other Polestar-tweaked Volvos, the hybrid wagon comes with minor, barely-noticeable exterior changes. On the flip-side, the powertrain updates are obvious enough to to make the package appealing to those in need of more horsepower and torque.

Polestar’s major achievement with the V60 D6 Plug-In Hybrid is that, although the wagon is slightly more powerful and quicker, mileage and CO2 emissions remain the same. That’s just about any driver’s dream and it says a lot about the company’s vast experience with Volvo engines. As expected, Polestar only touched the vehicle’s diesel engine, leaving the electric motor in its stock form. Read on to find out why the V60 D6 is the most powerful diesel model wearing a Volvo badge.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid by Polestar.

The BMW i8 has become a sales hit in the UK. Actually, it’s become more than a hit if you consider reports that it’s already sold out and that there’s already a 10-month waiting list to get your hands on the hybrid sports car . British newspaper Telegraph is reporting that the demand for the i8 has become so incredible that customers are even willing to pay "any price" for the display car in BMW’s i showroom on Park Lane in London.

It’s a dramatic turn of fortune for BMW , which initially expressed fears that the i8 wouldn’t command the same amount of attention as it had hoped. It was a gamble to build it in the very beginning, especially when the German automaker made it clear that the i8 would only feature a rather petite, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, combining to produce a total output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

But even the £95,000 ($135,925 here in the U.S. as of 8/12/2014) price tag of the i8 couldn’t dissuade buyers from putting in deposits for the car as early as 2012, even before BMW announced that production for the hybrid would ensue. BMW Park Lane sales manager even told the Telegraph that the i8 has become the "biggest conquest car I’ve known as a BMW salesman."

Something tells me that BMW enjoyed hearing those words. At least more so now that the decision and subsequent risk it took in producing the i8 is turning out to be a stroke of genius at this point.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Source: Telegraph
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

If you aren’t familiar, Chris Harris is one of the better journalists out there. He’s made a name for himself by getting into arguments with Ferrari — and more importantly — destroying tires (or tyres since he’s English). The one thing that’s always great about a Chris Harris video review, is how well he can diagnose a car. He’s been in the game a long time and has driven everything from ancient, decrepit Citroen 2CV’s to hypercars like the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari . This makes him very diverse, and able to enjoy many different types of car, he doesn’t limit himself to old muscle cars with manual gearboxes or modern high-tech sports cars with all the newest of gadgets. He simply enjoys cars for what they are, he’s a proper gearhead (or petrolhead because again...English). So when he put out this video driving the i8, I payed attention.

The i8 is a technological powerhouse, using technologies and techniques not available on anything in its price range. It has a mid-mounted, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 129-horsepower electric motor to make a combined power out put of 362 ponies. The benefit of electric power is the instantaneous torque, and when combined with the turbo three-banger, the i8 produces a whopping 420 pound-feet of it. All this is sent through a variation of the six-speed auto in the new Mini Cooper (the engine is also carried over from the Mini), and delivered to all four wheels.

The chassis of the i8 is a monocoque tub made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), so it’s incredibly light for a hybrid with big heavy batteries. The i8 weighs only 3,378 pounds. This makes it heavier than both the Corvette Stingray (3,298 pounds) and the Porsche 911 Carrera (3,042 pounds), but since the chassis is made out of CFRP and the batteries are laid out down the spine of the car, it feels much lighter and more nimble than it’s weight would suggest. This is also aided by the fact that it has that 420 pound-feet of torque from almost the second you touch the accelerator. In the video Chris explains how it doesn’t feel as pure and organic as a 911 but it’s close, and with all of the new technologies, it brings new exciting elements to the table.

Then there’s the look of the thing. To these eyes it’s the most interesting looking car on the road today, if not the most beautiful. This gives the Jag F-Type a run for it’s money. It’s not beautiful in the classic sense, but it is stunning in a modern art sort of way. It looks like the future, and it sort of is. Sports cars need to become fuel efficient nowadays and the new i Division cars are paving the way for that green future. I’m not a fan of electric cars but this one has me intrigued and it intrigues Chris as well. Real gearheads can appreciate when something is new and innovative, when it pushes the ball forward, and that’s exactly what you see here in the i8 and exactly what Chris talks about while driving it. Watch the video, it won’t disappoint.

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt uses a 17 kWh battery that enables it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. The electric motor, which delivers 149 horses and 273 pound-feet of torque, is aided by a 1.4-liter, inline-four gasoline engine. The conventional unit sends 84 ponies and 67 pound-feet to the front wheels. Both "generators" use a multi-mode electric transaxle to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 100 mph. Combined fuel economy sits at 62 mpge, while gasoline range is rate at 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg city. Come 2015, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle.

Rumors about a second-gen Volt arriving for the 2016 model year have been floating around for more than a year now. GM has finally confirmed the new Volt is being readied for 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut. Currently the best selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S. market with more than 65,000 units delivered, the 2016 Volt has big shoes to fill. Details are slim as of August 2014, but GM has dropped a few hints about the upcoming Volt in the past. Read on to find out more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

The Toyota Prius has been around since 2001 and very rarely have we ever used the words "elegant" and "luxurious" to describe it. But Toyota is determined to infuse those two things on the 2015 Prius with the unveiling of the Persona Series Special Edition . Yes, the Toyota Prius is getting a special edition treatment. But that’s not even the most surprising part about this whole thing. Believe it or not, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition actually looks pretty darn good. Who knew!

This is actually the second time we’ve seen a Persona Series Prius, as Toyota released one in 2013 too. It comes with plenty of exterior and interior upgrades that really bring out a side of the Prius we rarely get to see. That’s about as big a compliment you can throw at the hybrid sedan that doesn’t involve its outstanding fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition will arrive in dealerships in September with a price of $26,985. Another $325 will be added to that total if customers opt for the Blizzard Pearl exterior paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition.

The Lexus LF-Lc made its debut as just a lowly concept car at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan and its reception was one that all automakers dream of. Not only did people at the auto show love it, but Lexus customers were clamoring to see a production model hit showroom floors.

Lexus all but told us that it would release a production model loosely based on the concept, but no release dates were ever talked about. According to a report from Automotive News, there are several Lexus insiders that are claiming that there will be a model identical or at least similar to the LF-LC and bearing the same name to hit showroom floors sometime in the next two years.

With this news, we figured it was time to start piecing together a review for our readers, so you can make an educated choice when the time comes.

Updated 07/28/2014: We created a rendering for the production version of the LF-Lc. Click past the jump for details.

Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming LF-LC and see how it stacks up against the competition.

British property magnate Jon Hunt is nuts about his Ferraris , which makes him one of the few people in the world who has the capability to love the cars and then buy them afterwards. He also just recently accepted the delivery of his latest purchase, the Ferrari LaFerrari .

But simply taking the keys from a dealership wasn’t memorable enough for Hunt. So he decided to do something different. With the help of his two children and some friends, Hunt led his own version of a Ferrari parade, that is if you consider the distance from London to Ferrari headquarters in Maranello as a parade.

It seems like one, seeing as the cars Hunt picked to go pick up the LaFerrari were some of the most exclusive and sought-after Ferraris in the world. Really, it doesn’t get any better than a 288 GTO , an F40 , an F50 , and an Enzo, does it?

After spending his first five minutes inside the LaFerrari, Hunt quickly lines them all up together and tells Ferrari.com (via the above video) that he’s the type who actually drives his Ferraris, even admitting that he’s done 16,000 kilometers on the Enzo alone.

For somebody who has just about every exclusive Ferrari in the past 20-something years, Jon Hunt has shown us what it really means to be a proud and dedicated tifosi.

When the first NSX debuted, Honda was using it as a weapon to challenge the power of Ferrari on the track. For all intents and purposes, the new NSX will serve the same purpose, but I think Honda has taken it a bit too far. You may have noticed that there have been more than a few stories about Ferrari’s randomly bursting into flames around the world, and Honda was not going to be outshone. We now have news that the NSX prototype we just saw testing on the Nurburgring has also burst into flames.

Obviously, it is sad news that the NSX production mule has been destroyed, but it’s mildly comical when put into the context of the decades long battle against its Italian rival.

Thankfully it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt in the fire, but the NSX does look to be a complete loss. Most of the rear body work has been burnt to nothing and what is left doesn’t exactly look salvageable.

I sure hope Honda has a backup if it plans on getting enough testing done to have this car on sale by next summer.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Honda NSX.

The A8 has been the flagship model of the entire Audi range since its arrival back in 1994. Now in its third generation, the A8 continues to carry the “Four Rings” flag to greater and greater heights. Word has it that the A8 is getting a new engine that will make good use of the company’s new 3.0-liter, V-6, e-tron drivetrain.

Auto Express is reporting that the A8 will be the first recipient of a new e-tron hybrid system combined with a 3.0-liter, V-6, diesel mill. This system is similar to the one Audi dropped into the A3 e-tron Sportback , albeit with a more powerful V-6 to complement the electric motor.

Audi technical boss Dr Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed to Auto Express that this new setup will be used on the automaker’s larger models with the A8 getting first dibs on it.

It’s another huge step in the company’s quest to produce more sustainable vehicles in the future. Having an electric motor to complement the V-6 should make the A8 more fuel efficient without compromising its already stout performance numbers.

The new A8 e-tron is expected to carry 368 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque with an all-electric range of 30 miles. The range is similar to other luxury hybrid models on the market, including the Panamera S-E Hybrid and its 22-mile, EV-only range.

Expect the A8 to be the first model to receive the 3.0-liter e-tron powertrain with the A6 and the Q7 and others following suit at a later date.

It’s an exciting time for Audi as it ventures into new territory with its bigger models. If the A8 e-tron succeeds, look for the company to set its sights on expanding the engine’s reach into other models sooner than later.

Note: Standard Audi A8 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi A8 e-tron.

Source: AutoExpress

Students from the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Fontys University of Applied Sciences are in the middle of an ambitious project the likes of which we’ve never dealt with before. The group is collectively known as InMotion. Unlike those twister soda projects we occupied ourselves with in college, these students are doing a much bigger project. And it involves the Nurburgring Nordschleife. InMotion is developing a hybrid race car called the IN01. The goal is to break the lap record at the famous race track and by lap record, we mean the 6:11 lap record set by Stefan Bellof using a Porsche 956.

At least we know these students are ambitious. That’s a good quality to have, right?

From the look of the IN01, it does appear that InMotion has a good idea of what it’s going to take to eclipse the 30-year-old record. The design of the racer is dynamic enough to make you interested in the project. It has the pointed-nose design of Formula One race cars and the closed cockpit configuration of an LMP1 prototype. The dimensions are also there and its low height should help in improving the car’s balance. Even the rear section, with the blown rear diffuser, was designed to be as minimalistic as possible.

Aesthetically, it looks like a million bucks. But how it’s going to fare against that 6:11 record lap time around the Nurburgring Nordschleife is a different matter entirely. That, after all, is the ultimate point of this project.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 InMotion IN01.


Back to top