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.

Audi ’s brand-new electric turbodiesel engine, which was showcased in the RS5 TDI Concept last month, is set to become more than just an experiment. That’s the word from Australian outlet Drive, which claims the drivetrain will hit the streets in the next-generation Q7 SUV . Needless to say, we are not surprised.

The said oil burner displaces 3.0 liters and features an all-new e-boost unit that provides maximum torque from just 1,250 rpm, until the regular turbo kicks in at 3,000 rpm. This technology eliminates turbo lag, and enables the diesel to perform better and respond quicker when the gas pedal hits the floor.

The concept version of the engine mounted in the RS5 TDI delivers 385 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to push the coupe from naught to 62 mph in only four seconds and label it as the fastest six-cylinder diesel vehicle ever developed within the Volkswagen Group . We expect these numbers to change once the production engine finds its way into the Q7’s bay, but the SUV should be quite the performer.

Click past the jump to read more about this technology and the Audi RS5 TDI Concept.

Source: Drive

A hybrid version of the Toyota GT86 isn’t part of Toyota’s future plans, putting to rest rumors that the company could use the technology to offer a different, higher-performing version of the GT86. The decision to set aside a hybrid GT86 was reportedly made because it didn’t make sense from a business perspective.

Toyota marketing director Fabio Capano told Autocar that the Japanese automaker has no plans of building a hybrid GT86 despite company engineers admitting that the technology is already at an advanced stage of development. If there were a business case to be made for the vehicle, Toyota would think long and hard about green lighting it. But like most companies, Toyota wants to prioritize its time and money in pursuing other projects and a hybrid GT86 isn’t on top of its "to-do" list. So why even bother, right?

If demand for a hybrid Toyota GT86 doesn’t justify the time and effort, then why would Toyota build it in the first place? Additionally, The GT86 prides itself on being an affordable sports car with adequate power behind it. Launching a hybrid version of the model could end up cannibalizing sales of the base sports car and other future endeavors, like the return of the Supra .

Instead, Toyota is focusing on using its "advanced" hybrid technology on a car that’s more suited for it. The long-rumored sports car collaboration with BMW is one such car that could make the most of a hybrid powertrain.

Source: AutoCar

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a rare supercar that can speak a number of languages very few of its contemporaries can even comprehend let alone understand. It’s a daunting task just trying to decipher the car’s fullest capabilities, but for what Porsche managed to build, it also turned out to be a watershed moment for the future of the industry.

Recently, the Drive channel was able to get its hands on the Porsche hybrid hypercar, and like everybody who has felt its pulsating power, Drive’s Mike Spinelli was taken for a thrill ride for the ages.

Everything that makes the 918 Spyder so unique is displayed front and center, unleashing one wave after another of breathtaking displays of power and speed wrapped in a cocoon of the finest technology known in the industry today.

It’s hard to throw so many superlatives at just one car because there is usually disappointment along the way, however the 918 Spyder bucks that way of thinking for all the reasons that put the 918 into its current slot-on-top to begin with.

It really is the supercar of the future, in more ways than one.

There’s been a lot of talk about Porsche ’s purported plans to drop an electric motor into the 911 , but the Germans are doing a wonderful job at keeping all the details under wraps. In fact, Stuttgart is quieter than a Tesla Model S when it comes to 911 hybridization .

Fortunately, and because we’re living in an age dominated by state-of-the-art technology, Porsche’s steps are carefully monitored by high-performance photo lenses and recording devices. The Nurburgring track is packed with spies waiting to snap shots of the latest prototypes and test cars, so it’s only natural for us to hope for an alert paparazzo to blow the 911 hybrid’s cover.

And although we didn’t expect for that to happen anytime soon, it appears Porsche might be testing a hybrid 911 at the German track as we speak. Spotted earlier this month on the Nordschleife, the 911 shown in the video above looks like any other Carrera S you can buy nowadays. However, a device found on the back seat, as well as the high-pitched noise coming out during shifting accelerating, suggest this is no regular 911.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the electrical equipment inside the sports car isn’t just a telemetry device, but the unusual noises are noticeable and they must mean something. One thing’s for sure though, if the 911 lapping the ’Ring with that gizmo attached to it is indeed a hybrid, development has barely commenced and there’s plenty of footage to follow.

As a quick reminder, we expect the 911 hybrid to carry a turbocharged, 560-horsepower flat-six engine and an electric motor sourced from the 918 Hybrid supercar , a combo that creates more than 700 ponies. And that’s an upsetting figure for both Ferrari and Lamborghini .

If you’re a regular listener to our TopSpeed Podcasts, you’re likely familiar with our affinity with high-tech halo cars and the benefits they bring to less expensive, more everyday cars by technology trickle-down. Well, it appears Porsche is planning to share a few of the 918 hybrid hyper car’s parts with an upcoming version of the 911 Turbo S, and the Panamera Turbo S.

Why add a hybrid system to a car as seamless as the 911? The benefits are numerous and often obvious, but sometimes can be more obscure. The easiest positive to recognize is more horsepower. Adding the 918’s 156-horsepower electric motor to the 911 Turbo S’ 560-horsepower flat six results in a possible 716-horsepower hybrid drivetrain. That would help the 911 run the ‘ring with the latest Lamborghinis and Ferraris out there.

On the more obscure side, adding a plug-in hybrid system would allow the 911 to drive within Europe’s future Zero-Emissions Zones where conventional engines are banned in congested urban environments. Switch to full-electric mode, and the car becomes legal to drive downtown.

What’s more, it shouldn’t be difficult for Porsche to tailor the e-Hybrid system for not just the 911 and Panamera, but for other vehicles in the future. It’s possible for the trickle-down to continue further into even more affordable vehicles like the Cayman and Boxster, but only after the development and hardware costs come down. This not only helps Porsche’s overall CAFE ratings, but helps boost horsepower ratings and performance standards as well.

It sounds like a win-win to us.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Source: MotorTrend

If you’re a BMW owner who is truly trying to reduce their impact on the world around them, the new i3 and i8 make great choices. These green cars promise BMW dynamics with a much friendlier CO2 output and impressive fuel economy.

Of course, what happens when your neighbor also buys a new BMW i8, and you are no longer the coolest eco-kid on the street? You snag one of these new solar carports from the minds at BMW DesignworksUSA.

Like everything that comes from the minds at DesignworksUSA, the carport is stunning to look at and features a unique styling aesthetic that is open, industrial and modern. In keeping with the theme of reducing the owner’s impact on the world around them, much of the structure is made from bamboo. As a quickly growing and dense wood, bamboo makes a great renewable building resource.

Did I mention that it looks awesome? Like a solar-powered cyber spider awesome?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 and the Solar Carport Concept.

If you just heard a collective groan between your ears, chances are you’re part of the collective masses that just heard about BMW’s plan to offer less than 500 i8 sports cars in North America. We already knew from the start that BMW had no plans of mass-producing the i8, but just 500 earmarked for North America?

But no matter how disappointing that is, it probably won’t dissuade BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch from adding more models in the NA inventory in the near future. That could change if the hybrid supercar sells like hot pancakes, but for now, it’s only sending 500 to North America.

So what’s the rationale behind it? Willisch didn’t elaborate on that so we’re assuming that BMW wants to test the North
American market first on how it receives the i8 when it arrives. It might be ridiculous to imagine why a car so lauded as the i8 needs to "test a market" but remember, BMW is essentially venturing into uncharted territory with this model, developing it as a hybrid that promises the best in performance and efficiency.

On top of that, the i8 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Starting price is at $136,625, including shipping, so it’s not like people will just line up to buy the car when sales begin in August 2014.

Or maybe they will, which explains why it’s weird for BMW to limit the allotment of i8s to just 500 in North America.

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

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may have been a disappointing appearance to most brand enthusiasts, due to its front-wheel-drive layout, but the Bavarian manufacturer hopes to score big with the compact MPV in both North America and Europe.

The regular 2 Series Active Tourer, which is powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, inline-three unit rated at 136 horsepower, will be followed by an M Sport version with a plug-in hybrid model to arrive shortly after.

Unlike its gasoline-exclusive counterparts, which will require an xDrive option to get all four wheels moving, the plug-in hybrid will feature an all-wheel-drive setup by default. Although BMW has yet to reveal any details, the same three-cylinder engine is likely to be in charge of the front axle, while an electric motor will be added to take care of the rear wheels.

Total output is expected to sit around the 200-horsepower mark, with 136 horsepower coming from the conventional mill and the rest provided by the silent, battery-powered motor. As for mileage, the Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid should return at least 50 mpg when using both units, though it won’t be able to travel more than around 20 miles in EV mode.

Styling-wise, the hybrid version won’t be any different than the gasoline Active Hybrid, with only a few badges to highlight its greener nature. The MPV has already been spotted testing in Germany so we might see it in production form by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid.

Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to hybrid technology, but the German automaker has yet to implement it on a large scale throughout its lineup, using it only on the S-Class and the E-Class up until now.

That’s about to change next year when the Stuttgart-based automaker plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the brand-new C-Class . Expected to hit the market under the C350 Plug-In Hybrid name, the sedan will rely on a powertrain that brings together a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery.

Details are still under wraps, but Mercedes is likely to drop in its 2.0-liter conventional engine, which is good for 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in the standard C-Class. Little is known about the electric motor set to be paired with the four-pot, but word has it we’ll be seeing an extra 70 horsepower and at least 140 pound-feet of torque coming from it.

The combo should enable the C-Class Plug-In Hybrid to return at least 78 mpg, making it one of the most fuel efficient sedans on the market. The grand unveiling could take place at the Paris Motor Show this fall, with the first units to hit dealerships in 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes C-Class Plug-In Hybrid.

The LaFerrari is proof that Ferrari can work with hybrid technology, but assuming that it’s going to wake up one day and start dropping the technology on all future Ferraris is taking it a little too far. Ferrari knows that hybrid engines have a future in its company; it’s just that we shouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa spoke with Auto Motor und Sport and admitted as much, telling the German paper that while a hybrid successor to the 458 Italia is an "interesting idea," the company still doesn’t see it as a feasible idea unless there’s a "leap forward in battery technology."

Apparently, the biggest concern with using hybrid technology on Ferraris is the cost that comes with it. Felisa pointed out that the LaFerrari’s electrical engineering already costs €60,000 ($82,970 based on current exchange rates), and that doesn’t even count the "technical and financial effort" needed to compensate for the weight added by a hybrid system.

Ferrari can get away using hybrid technology on the LaFerrari because the exclusivity of the supercar , coupled with its astronomical price tag, was enough to justify using it. But "mass produced" supercars like the 458 Italia are a different story. For one, Ferrari can’t risk adding any more weight to the cars and the sheer volume of production is just too expensive to handle. It could probably still work, but the cost of doing so would be to make the cars more expensive to buyers - an option that Ferrari isn’t too keen on taking.

But the technology is there, and Ferrari knows now that using it can dramatically improve the performance of its sports cars. That’s the good news. It’s just not feasible to do at this point in time.

For now, Ferrari’s plan is to continue pushing forward with developing new technology that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its vehicles. A combination of mild hybrid technology and turbocharged engines could be used on that end. But as far as the kind of hybrid tech the LaFerrari has, don’t expect Ferrari to start using it on its other models just yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the LaFerrari


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