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.

BMW i8

We absolutely love the BMW i8 , we really do, and we are excited to see exactly what BMW brings to showrooms with its anticipated 2013 release. As we sit back and ponder a little bit more about the i8, we begin to notice that the i8 has a pretty good chance of being an absolute flop. Now, before you BMW enthusiasts start picketing in front of the TopSpeed offices, hear us out, and understand that we are just saying there’s a possibility.

So BMW is touting around the 350 to 400 combined horsepower in the i8, but we often glance right past that “combined” word and only see the total output. In reality, the i8 only boasts about 220 ponies and 221 pound-feet of torque from its gasoline power plant. The remaining power comes from the two electric motors powering the front wheels. In addition, this combination is what allows the i8 to hit 60 mph in sub-5-second times.

From what we are told by BMW, the i8 can run on electric power only for about 20 miles and the electric motors are battery powered, which gains no regenerative power from the 3-pot engine in the rear. So once the batteries die, you’re stuck piloting this likely heavy car with only 220 ponies. This becomes even more of an issue, as BMW has kept rather mum on the topic of how far the car will actually go on the combined gas-electric power.

If the batteries discharge, you are not going to sniff a 5-second 0 to 60 time, as a lot of the torque responsible for such lightning-fast acceleration is provided by these electric motors. Sans those electric aids, you are likely looking at a 8- or 9-second sprint to 60 mph, which is rather disappointing in a car that is certain to crest to $100K mark when it hits showrooms.

Again, this is purely just a look ahead at what could potentially make the i8 a bust. We certainly hope that BMW has figured out a way to prevent this from happening.

Infiniti has just added a new version to its M35h line-up: the new M35h GT arrives in Infiniti dealers from July and will be priced from £41,101 - or about $65,000 at the current exchange rates. With this price the new GT model is about £3970 ($6,200) cheaper than the current Premium version.

The M35h ’s hybrid system combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 68 HP electric motor mated to a 7-speed Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) automatic transmission. This system helps the sedan to deliver an impressive fuel economy of 29 mpg (combined).

The new GT version is offered with an impressive list of standard equipments including a 16-speaker Bose® surround system, Infiniti’s latest Connectiviti+ navigation/entertainment system, semi-aniline leather seat facings, heated and ventilated front seats, bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), alloy wheels and White Ash wood trim finished with real silver powder.

"Cost of ownership is an important consideration in any new car purchase. With the M35h GT grade it now means that the P11D values have been reduced and along with the recently improved CO2 rating there are lower bills for companies and for their drivers," said Infiniti UK Fleet Sales Manager, Simon Lewis.

Honda is set to bring a new race car to the Super GT series in Japan and true to form, it’s a racing version of the the company’s resident hybrid hatch, the CR-Z.

Certainly, by one look at the car, you can pretty much surmise that this isn’t your ordinary CR-Z. Honda co-developed it with their in-house tuning company Mugen and they proceeded to build something that hopefully performs as good as it looks.

To enhance the car’s racing capabilities, Honda and Mugen enhanced a number of components on the car, including the suspension, rolling stock and aerodynamics.

Then, the attention was turned to its engine, which is to say that they completely modified it to be race-ready. Instead of its rather mundane standard power train, the CR-Z GT was fitted with a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that comes with a competition-spec electric assist. Output has been limited to 300 horsepower on account of the car competing at the Super GT GT300 class.

We’re pretty excited to see how awesome-looking race car performs when it makes its debut in the fourth round of the 2012 Super GT series at the end of the month.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

The Ferrari P4/5 Competizione created by James Glickenhaus has already proven to be an extremely successful racer. Recently, it became the fastest Ferrari to have ever lapped the Nordschleife even though the brand behind its recognizable name played no part in developing it.

Despite the fact that the P4/5 Competizione went up in flames during the 2012 24 Hours of Nurburgring , it’s since been repaired and the following video captures some behind-the-scenes action of the car whilst a photoshoot was taking place.

Even though the official pictures taken by automotive photographer, Piotr Degler Jablonski have yet to be released, the following video gives us a good indication of how the photos will look. Hopefully, they’ll come our way in the following weeks where we’ll be sure to share with the full gallery if Jablonski allows us, and if indeed the gallery is released to the public.

In the meantime, check out the video and whilst doing so, keep in mind that the P4/5 Competizione ‘only’ pumps out 563 HP from its 430 Scuderia sourced 4.3-liter V8 engine, which makes its racing successes all the more impressive.

After dropping the first details on the fourth generation Avalon , Toyota has announced that the new model will also be offered with a hybrid powertrain - a first for this sedan. Toyota has promised that this hybrid Avalon will deliver excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined.

The new hybrid Avalon combines a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, with a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a pair of electric motor/generators within the trans-axle. It will deliver an impressive output of 200 HP and delivers a fuel economy of 40 mpg in the city and a 39 mpg on the highway. The model comes with three unique modes of operation: EV, Eco, and Sport. In EV mode, the model can travel as an all-electric vehicle to speeds of up to 25 mph. Eco mode combines the two, while in Sport mode, the model takes full advantage of the car’s improved chassis and enhanced suspension.

The hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential, and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement.

The new Toyota Avalon Hybrid goes on sale later in 2012 and prices will be announced at a later date.

Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid

Lotus hasn’t seen a great share of luck in recent years, but in the past few weeks, its luck has taken a slight turn for the better. First came INDYCAR’s approval of desired changes to its IRL engines. Now Lotus is now extending this run of decent luck a little more by announcing that its running prototype for the Evopra 414E hybrid is ahead of schedule and ready for dynamic testing.

Lotus first unveiled the prototype at Geneva in 2010, but it was just that, a prototype. It had no engine or motor driving it; it was essentially just a shell. No one in the automotive world expected anything from Lotus in the next year or so, as it seeks a new CEO, fights a rumored lawsuit from its former CEO , and attempts to right this sinking shop.

It looks like we were all wrong, as Lotus just sent out a press release detailing all of the Evora 414E’s main specifications. So, we did what we do best and used our speculative abilities to put together a review for you to use to make an educated shopping decision, if you are lucky enough to be in the market for this type of car.

Click past the jump to read our full review.

Toyota GT 86

Toyota must be starting to love collaborative projects. Coming out of a tight relationship with Subaru where they developed the GT 86 (pictured above) and the BRZ , the Japanese company has now established a working relationship with BMW . In fact, the two companies first announced plans to join forces back in December 2011 when they announced a partnership for sharing hybrid systems and diesel engines. Then, in March 2012, they signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.

Today, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW BMW AG met again and talked about a new agreement that could lead to developing a new sports car. The two leaders talked about joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification, and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.

BMW will supply highly-efficient 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014 and, in return, Toyota will share their knowledge on environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. The relationship makes sense due to the fact that one of BMW’s strengths is their production of engines and Toyota was the first to push out their electric vehicle - the Toyota Prius - with much success.

Hit the jump to read the statements from the two CEO’s.

Jaguar and Land Rover showed up to the Goodwood Festival of Speed ready to tackle naysayers with an ultra-low carbon XJ _e plug-in hybrid engineering research project. The goals of these automakers was to demonstrate how an advanced parallel plug-in hybrid design can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions of over 70% without impacting the car’s performance.

The new XJ _e research vehicle is powered by an advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system that combines an efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine, with a 92 HP generator and a 12.8kWh Lithium Ion battery pack. It offers an electric-only range of 25 miles, and, in hybrid mode, can travel up to 679 miles with a fuel consumption of 87mpg. This can all be achieved while still hitting the 0-60 mph mark in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

Bob Joyce, Engineering Director, JLR, commented: "The XJ_e investigates how a 5.0-litre V8 engine could be replaced by an advanced 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain to deliver similar performance and refinement, but with CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. While the XJ_e is an experimental project, it highlights that JLR customers can expect some exciting low-carbon products in the future."

It’s only been a few weeks since Lexus unveiled the new generation Lexus GS350 , and now they are rounding up the crowd again with the debut of the GS 450h at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A relatively young model on the market - it was first unveiled in 2007 - the GS 450H is now the world’s first premium performance sedan to be equipped with a V6 Atkinson cycle gas engine and two-motor hybrid system.

The hybrid system combines an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine with a two-motor hybrid system in a front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration. They both deliver a total of 338 HP and will sprint the GS 450h from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Fuel economy has also been improved by 30%. The model will be equipped with a Drive Mode selector that will allow the driver to choose between Eco, Sport S, Sport S+ and EV modes.

UPDATE 06/29/2012: Lexus has unveiled a new video presenting the technology behind the new GS 450h. Enjoy!

Hit the jump to read more about the new Lexus GS 450h.

With the Bugatti Galibier all but fading into the shadows, Bugatti has been left with nothing to show the auto market apart from different Veyron variants in the past year.

But not it appears that the French automaker is getting ready for their latest offering, the long-awaited successor to their mighty super car.

According to a report from AutoExpress, Bugatti is currently developing their new super car, and coming as a bit of a surprise to us is that the car could very well be a hybrid.

Bugatti’s chief vehicle engineer, Jens Schulenburg, was quoted by the UK car magazine saying that while the Veyron successor will remain the company’s flagship model, it will be packaged a little bit differently than its predecessor.

“The big challenge on the next car will be reducing weight," Schulenburg said. "We are looking at some incredible technologies, such as wheels made entirely from carbon fiber. Hybrids are definitely something we are looking at too."

While no official details have been released, we know how Bugatti takes these things seriously. So we expect nothing less than a model that can put even the supremo of all super cars, the Veyron Super Sport , in its place.

Source: Auto Express

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