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.

Fisker Automotive had a pretty bad 2013 and saying that feels like a massive understatement. But from the ashes of bankruptcy, the company has been brought back to life by the deep pockets of Chinese auto-parts company Wanxiang. Things are definitely looking much better now for Fisker, or whatever it’s new name is going to be if, as is being reported, the new bosses at the company decide to completely build under a new company name.

Speaking to the OC Register, newly appointed Fisker interim president Roger Brown, a managing partner at Nashville-based Summit Strategic Investments who has worked with Wanxiang for years, has been coy on whether the company will be rebranded under a different name. Brown points out that whatever name it goes by moving forward, the cars have been and will always be the "rock stars."

On that end, Brown expressed confidence that the Karma luxury hybrid will be relaunched in 2015 without the multitude of problems that plagued its previous incarnation and ultimately led to the company’s bankruptcy. In addition to the Karma, Wanxiang is also looking at jump-starting the development of two other cars - the Surf wagon and the entry-level Atlantic - in the future with an eye towards launching the former in 2016 and the latter in 2017.

All this is tremendous news for people who actually had some good things to say about the Karma. That includes us . It’s just unfortunate the old regime didn’t have the right financial structure to address all the problems that came with developing its cars. None of us knew it at that time, but Fisker was a sinking ship and it was already too late to call for help.

But now that the brand is under new management and is owned by a Chinese company that apparently paid cash to buy Fisker, things are finally looking up for the once proud Fisker brand. It’s also comforting to know that, according to Brown, Wanxiang brought Fisker because it wants "to build a great car company."

But the biggest difference, and the most important one, is that Wanxiang has money. Lots of it. And from the looks of it, the company is not afraid to spend to realize its vision of turning Fisker into that great car company.

Click past the jump to read more about the Fisker Karma.

Source: ocregister

The Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid sure made a name for itself in Europe last year, earning the distinction of being one of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles on that side of the world. With the car’s success, it would’ve been a foregone conclusion to think that Volvo was going to take advantage of it. Well, how else do you describe the Swedish automaker’s decision to release the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design?

Essentially, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design is a combination of two worlds for Volvo, one involving the car’s rather popular hybrid setup and another involving its, well, "sportier" R-Design side.

The latter doesn’t really move the needle for us, but the former sure does, enough for us to wonder whether this hybrid has a future in US soil. It’s unlikely at this point given how successful the model has been in Europe, but we’re still holding out hope.

After all, if Volvo has a mode this popular in Europe , wouldn’t it be a smart idea to send it across the Atlantic to see whether it has the make-up to equal its success in Europe?

Here’s to hoping Volvo shares our sentiments on that one.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design.

Land Rover has yet to bring the Range Rover Hybrid to the United States, but the fuel-sipping SUV is already available in Europe and, according to the company, it will go on sale in China next month as well.

The big news, however, is that the world’s largest automotive market is also getting the hybrid powertrain in the long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover , allowing Chinese customers to enjoy an extra 186 mm (7.3 inches) of rear legroom.

Developed on the same Silk Trail expedition know-how that led to the creation of the regular Ranger Rover Hybrid, the long-wheelbase version benefits from the same powertrain and performance specs.

At the heart of the SUV lays a 3.0-liter, SDV6, turbo-diesel engine and a 35-kW (47-horsepower) electric motor that combine to deliver 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Connected to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, the combo enables the vehicle to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at 135 mph.

When used on electric power alone, the SUV has a range of only one mile and can reach a top speed of 30 mph. Moving over to what matters the most to a hybrid — fuel efficiency — the Range Rover LWB promises to return up to 37 mpg combined, a figure unchanged versus the regular wheelbase model. Additionally, regenerative braking helps recharge the batteries while you bring the SUV to a stop.

While Chinese deliveries will commence in the fourth quarter of the year, details as to when the Range Rover Hybrid will cross the Pond to North America are still unavailable. However, U.S. dealerships should get it by the end of 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase.

It goes without saying that the Lexus CT 200h is about as unique a car you can find for a hybrid hatch . Lexus has done a lot of work to bring out the best of this model in the past few years, even adding the unique spindle grille styling for the 2014 model. But even that wasn’t enough for the company because lo and behold, we now have the CT 200h F Sport.

The graduation from the standard model to the one with an F Sport stamp of approval is mostly limited to aesthetic and aerodynamic changes, but the difference between the two is pretty drastic, particularly on how sportier and more aggressive the front section of the CT 200h F Sport looks. Those inserts really do a lot to bring out the hybrid’s menacing look, right?

We certainly think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we think highly of the model, other than its obvious performance and efficiency numbers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport.

Okay, we’ve seen Porsche , BMW and Audi all experimenting with hybrid and electric cars , which is okay. But now things are getting a little more upscale in the electrification of luxury cars to help boost mpgs without losing performance and comfort. The latest of the entrants is Bentley with its Beijing-bound Hybrid Concept, which is little more than an electrified and copper-accented Mulsanne . Hey, if you’re gonna reveal a new hybrid engine, then why not show it off in your flagship sedan?

The details are still a little scarce on the Hybrid Concept, but Bentlry did let us in on a few details. We know that the hybrid drivetrain will carry the same 6.75-liter V-8 gas burner as the base model, but with electric motors added to boost fuel economy and output, while decreasing CO2 emissions. According to Bentley, this drivetrain bumps fuel economy up by 25 percent and guts CO2 by 70 percent.

What’s more, this drivetrain is in Bentley’s future plans, and it will slowly make its way into every Bentley vehicle.

we expect to hear more about the car following its debut at the Beijing Auto Show on April 20th.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Bentley Hybrid Concept.

Much has being made about the BMW Concept X5 eDrive following its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Shortly after its debut, a prototype was seen testing out on the road. Now, a refreshed version of the concept is headed to the 2014 New York Auto Show .

Whether this is a production model labeled as a concept or simply another prototype is a question that only BMW can answer. For the most part, there have been a few changes from the first concept we saw back in September last year.

What we do know is that there appears to be a future for the Concept X5 eDrive at some point. It may not be in the coming months, but years down the line, we expect this vehicle to be out on the road. The hybrid, luxury SUV market is still growing, and its only a matter of time before BMW jumps into the picture and announces its plans to be a strong competitor in it.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW Concept X5 eDrive.

Jay Leno’s garage is never short on amazing vehicles with loads of historical or performance pedigrees melded into every component. But Jay’s latest guest car is a vehicle with loads of future potential for the mainstream market, though it’s not much to look at.

Starting with a stock Euro-spec Ford Focus , the folks at Ricardo replaced the car’s standard 2.0-liter Duratec inline four cylinder with a 1.0-liter I-4 with a few tricks up its sleeve. The engine features a regular turbocharger, along with an electric supercharger in a setup much like the McLaren P1 . (Ricardo helped develop the battery management software for the P1) Designed as a torque fill, the supercharger is powered by electricity stored in super capacitors. Once the driver hits the gas, the supercharger responds within 200 milliseconds, providing boost until the turbo spools up. Once the turbo is pressurized, the supercharger is turned off.

A belt-starter generator running off the engine powers the super capacitors. And because the 1.0-liter is has a stop/start feature, the capacitors also power the belt-starter generator to restart the engine.

Perhaps the two most impressive aspects of the HyBoost system are its efficiency and overall cost. The old 2.0-liter engine averaged around 32 mpg, but the HyBoost improves on that by an impressive 47 percent – meaning the new powertrain achieves roughly 47 to 50 mpg and nearly 60 mpg highway. Then there’s cost. Somehow, Ricardo is potentially able to include this system in a car for roughly $1,100 over its original sticker price.

Though the powertrain is more efficient, it hasn’t given up any performance over the larger 2.0-liter. The setup makes 143 horsepower at 5,500 and still runs the same 9.2-seconds to 60 mph.

We wouldn’t be surprised to find this technology making its way into products in the next few years. As Jay points out in the video, nothing on the car is break-through technology. All the components were pre-existing, so it’s proven technology and should be easy to manufacture.

Of all the cars that have entered Jay Leno’s Garage , you can make a case that very few are as advanced technologically as the Porsche 918 Spyder . The hybrid supercar from Stuttgart recently paid a visit to the comedian’s auto lair and, as expected, Leno raised some serious hell with it.

But before he got a chance to take the 918 Spyder out on the road, Leno had a pretty interesting discussion with the 918’s Client Relations Manager, Daniel Eastman.

Among the many topics discussed by the two, some of the more pertinent highlights of the discussion centered on just how much of a technological marvel the 918 Spyder really is. Whether it’s the fact that it can hit 70-plus mpg or that it can still hit 900 horsepower, despite being that fuel efficient, the 918 Spyder is really the best of both worlds. It’s an achievement that flies in the face of those who believed you can’t achieve one without sacrificing the other.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is one of those cars that will be talked about decades from now; a true crowning moment for Porsche that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

And in case you’re wondering, Leno took the 918 Spyder for a drive with Eastman riding shotgun. Some guys are just blessed...

Toyota ’s history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans goes way back to 1985, but, to the automaker’s dismay, the Japanese have yet to clinch an overall win. It was close though, scoring second-place finishes on four occasions.

Toyota’s earlier efforts ceased after the 1999 race, right before Audi rose to power to become the fierce "oppressor" that won 13 out of the last 14 events. Yes, we’ve included Bentley ’s success from 2003 as well, because the Speed 8 was nothing but an Audi R8 underneath.

With the Germans sweeping just about anything in their way, Toyota returned to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2012. Itsweapon of choice, the TS030 Hybrid , failed to finish, sending team engineers back to the drawing board. The 2013 evolution of the race car was more competitive, but Toyota Racing had to settle with second place once again.

Fortunately, Toyota’s not willing to give up just yet, and the Audi - Toyota prototype class war will see another battle this year. In fact, it’s going to be a three-way, because Porsche will be returning to France, after 16 years, with their latest hybrid machine - the 919.

Anyway, Toyota won’t be fielding an updated TS030, but a brand-new vehicle. Dubbed TS040 Hybrid (no surprises here), the new TMG-developed LMP1 car will be quite different. And we’re not talking about the fact that it’ll be narrower, as required by new FIA regulations, it will also benefit from all-wheel drive.

It appears the Japanese are keeping the gasoline-electric drivertrain, with the naturally-aspirated V-8 motivating the rear wheels. For 2014, however, an Aisin electric motor will be spinning the front axle, while a DENSO inverter will be in charge of sending energy to a super-capacitor during braking. Nothing too fancy to today’s standards, but competitive enough for endurance racing .

Toyota will field two TS040 Hybrids in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship. The driver lineup will remain unchanged, with Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin sharing duties.

The new race cars will make their first public appearances at FIA’s official test session at the Paul Ricard Circuit on March 28, so make sure you stick around for additional details.

Updated 03/27/2014: The new Toyota TS040 Hybrid made its world debut today at Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. Check out the new specs and images revealed at the event!

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid.

We’ve heard our fair share of rumors surrounding the upcoming 2016 Nissan GT-R , but this one takes the cake. This leaked photo from a Japanese car magazine (above) not only reveals what the car probably looks like, but also important details about its new hybrid powertrain. The most impressive being its projected 800-plus-horsepower output.

Nissan had already confirmed a hybrid powertrain for the next-generation GT-R late last year, though the company was tight-lipped about its specs. Now with this handy piece of evidence, we’ve learned the car will likely retain the current 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine — though heavily updated to produce some 580 horsepower — while employing a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to provide an extra 250-horsepower kick.

580 + 250 = 830 horsepower AWESOME

The extra horsepower should help the GT-R scoot to 62 mph in just 2.7 seconds on its way to a 211-mph top speed. What’s more, it’s said Nissan won’t price the GT-R astronomically higher than the current car’s $101,000 sticker. Expect prices to range between $120,000 and $150,000.

Be sure to check back with TopSpeed for any other developing information regarding the new GT-R’s road to production.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Nissan GT-R.

Source: 7Tune

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