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.

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
Infiniti EMERG-E

There is no doubt that a fairly wide gap exists between Infiniti and its F1 sponsorship. Really, there is not a single production Infiniti that anyone can point to and say “Ah, that is a car that relates to open-wheel performance racing.” Sure, there have been concepts and so forth, but nothing firm.

The halo car was once thought to be the upcoming Emerg-E hybrid, but signs are pointing that the Emerg-E may disappoint. Infiniti is planning to have a running prototype of the Emerg-E ready to go for Goodwood Festival of Speed and, according to several outside sources that Car and Driver has spoken to, this gas-electric hybrid may not be the performance car that everyone is expecting (sub-five-second 0 – 60 time, 420 horsepower, etc.).

While that is really disappointing, as we were anticipating huge things from the Emerg-E, we cannot say that we are surprised. Infiniti has been really tight-lipped on this project, which oftentimes means that there are some issues going on. If the reports are accurate, then the tight lips have been due to the Emerg-E not being able to reach the power numbers that Infiniti estimated.

Don’t fret though, as Infiniti does have a fallback plan, in the form of the 2009 concept, the Essence . Yes, the Essence has been effectively shelved since its debut, but, according to reports, there are still talks about this 592-horsepower hybrid making its way into production in one form or another.

For now, all we have are unconfirmed reports from outside sources, so we will reserve our judgment for Goodwood. Who knows, the Emerg-E could come out and blow us away, and Infiniti may have kept it quiet just to avoid the competition, like Acura’s NSX and BMW’s i8 , from knowing what Infiniti is planning.

Goodwood kicks off on June 28th, so we don’t have to wait too awful long to find out. We’ll update you just as soon as we hear more about this situation.

Source: CarandDriver

Most automakers have already begun to offer hybrid versions for at least one SUV in their line-up, so Mitsubishi is actually a little late in the game with this one. The company is currently working on an Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV and will have it ready for the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September. The new model will go on sale in Europe in 2013, but at this point, Mitsubishi hasn’t said anything about bringing it over to the U.S. market.

The new Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid will share the same architecture with the soon-to-be-introduced New Outlander’s ICE versions and will feature a unique drive train combination of front electric motor plus rear electric motor plus front traction/generator petrol engine. It will offer a choice of three driving modes: Pure (Twin Motor 4WD EV), Series (Twin Motor 4WD - EV supported by generator), and Parallel (ICE engine supported by Twin Motor 4WD). Mitsubishi also promised that the new Outlander Hybrid will come with a driving range of 800 kilometers (497 miles).

BMW ’s plans to drop the X6 Active Hybrid from their lineup by no means belittles their intentions to move forward with a greener line. Following in the footsteps of the ActiveHybrid7 and ActiveHybrid5 will be a hybrid version for the next generation 3-Series

We first caught site of the ActiveHybrid3 as a prototype running some laps around the Nürburgring and although there was nothing on the body of the vehicle that could distinguish it from a standard petrol model, this particular tester had the obligatory hybrid stickers on the side and rear. Hybrid stickers are a must during testing because if the car happened to get into an accident, the police and medical crew need to be aware of the dangers of electric power.

The future ActiveHybrid3 is scheduled to launch one year after the standard 3-Series, which would be sometime in the autumn of 2012.

UPDATE 07/09/2012: BMW has officially announced today that the new ActiveHybrid 3 will arrive in US showrooms this fall at an MSRP of $50,195 including destination and handling. Check out the picture gallery for some new images and a video presenting the car’s exterior design.

Hit the jump to read more on the BMW ActiveHybrid3.

Mini Cooper & Cooper S

The web tying varying automakers to one another is a very complex, yet delicate thing. One strand heading the wrong direction can cause an automaker to break off another connection, and we see it every day. One prime example was when AMG hacked off its advertising ties with Ducati just because Audi bought the company. Really, what do motorcycles have to do with your competing with Audi in the automobile realm?

Well, we have another bit of info to pass on in regards to one partnership killing another. Recently PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen , increased its stake in a partnership with GM affiliate, Opel, to develop four vehicle platforms together. This leads BMW to believe that PSA will not have the ability to fulfill its partnership duties in reference to BMW’s developing Hybrid platform.

A BMW spokesperson said “We are discussing conditions for the exit of PSA but we will not make any payments,” in an interview with Reuters. In addition, PSA has accepted the fact that this new relationship with GM will force it to “change the conditions” in its partnership with BMW. This likely means that BMW will buy-out PSAs share of the investment in the project and take development into its own hands.

This will not, however, affect the other relationships that BMW and PSA have going on. The largest of these relationships is the partnership between the two to build the MINI Cooper ’s engine.

We’ll keep an eye on what’s going on with this development and let you know if anything else pops up. For now, this seems like a pretty open-and-shut case.

Source: Reuters
Posted on by Brad Anderson 2

Despite the various high-speed crashes which took place at the recent 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans , Audi managed to come out on top for the 11th time in 13 years. With both Toyota LMP1 cars crashing out in the early stages of the race, one could argue that Audi was destined all along to take victory.

However, one could never have imagined that Audi managed to wrap up all three podium places with its incredible R18 race cars, two of which are e-tron Quattro-diesel-hybrids while the other two who finished in 3rd and 5th were the more conventional R18 Ultra diesel-powered racers.

Driving the victorious Audi R18 e-tron was Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer, and Benoît Tréluyer. This victory marks a historic day in Le Mans history as the victorious car is the first diesel-hybrid to ever sit upon the top step of the podium and could help pave the way for more fuel-efficient LMP1 racers.

Audi board member Rupert Stadler stated, "By achieving this further success at the world’s most important endurance race our engineers demonstrated their high technological expertise in a particularly impressive way. With the e-tron Quattro in combination with ultra-lightweight design, we put a completely new technology on the grid and immediately won with it – this cannot be taken for granted by any means, particularly here at Le Mans."

It’s inevitable that Audi has already turned its attention to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, where we expect to see even more hybrid-diesels contesting.

Chevrolet Volt

On the surface, the Chevy Volt is actually a pretty good looking car, if you are able to ignore the fact that it pumps out only 149 horsepower from its paltry1.4-liter engine and uses an electric motor for 30 miles before the gas engine ever kicks in. We’re not trying to say it’s a sports car, but it could certainly fall into the sports sedan area.

Unfortunately, we come right back to that 149 ponies and that immediately disqualifies this otherwise stylish car from sniffing the sports sedan segment. Well, GM obviously has noted the potential for the Volt and rumors are now swirling around that Chevy will start installing the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that the all-new Buick Verano T is receiving into the Volt .

As of now, this is still a rumor, but given that the Cadillac ELR and its sexy exterior is due to debut any time now and will likely ride on the same platform as the Volt, it only makes sense to use the powerful boosted 2.0. The ELR with only 149 horsepower would be like dumping a Civic Si engine in a Ferrari , it just doesn’t quite fit the looks.

We are uncertain if the Volt receives the full-powered version of the 2.0-liter engine, or a detuned model, it will mean that the Volt could push up to 270 horsepower, if it receives the full-power 2.0. Also floating around is a rumor that this new engine will receive a larger electric motor for a little extra gasoline-free oomph.

All we can say is that we truly hope that these rumors are true, as the Volt in its current form is underwhelming, to say the least. We’ll keep you updated as more details roll out on this possible upgrade.

Source: InsideEVs
BMW 3 Series Sedan

We already know that BMW has officially approved the manufacture of its much anticipated hybrid sports car, the i8 and we are well aware that the gasoline engine behind it is a 1.3-liter three-banger that pops out a sweet 223 horsepower. When combined with the electric motor on the front wheels, the i8 hits a healthy 354 ponies.

BMW has just revealed yet another detail on its upcoming i8, and that is that the thee-pot gas burner that powers it will hail from Jolly Ol’ England… Hams Hall factory in Birmingham Birmingham , to be precise. Head of engine development at BMW, Peter Nefischer, mentioned before that the boosted three-cylinder could find its way into the 3-Series in the future and the fact that this engine is being built in the same factory that manufactures the 3-Series engine could add some validity to this possible downsizing of the 3-Series .

With the 328i already coming stock with a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter, there is no reason that an extended fuel range model boasting this 223-horsepower, 1.3-liter engine cannot become a possibility. Granted, it likely wouldn’t have quite the drivability of the 2.0-liter, but the extended fuel range would help traveling business people a great deal, while still having a little pep in its step. In addition, those 223 ponies still far exceed the paltry 201 ponies pumped out by the Mercedes-Benz C250 .

We can say with some certainty that a three-cylinder 3-Series variant will definitely happen, it’s just a matter of when it happens and how BMW tunes the engine to retain the comfortable feel that the 3-Series is notorious for. We’ll update you if any other news pointing toward a three-banger 3-Series pops up.

Toyota Racing TS030 Hybrid

It looks like Toyota , after a very huge hiccup, is set to return to the world of Lee Mans racing. Its pair of TS030 Hybrids have completed their first testing run at Cirque De La Sarthe – the name of the 24 Hours of Le Mans track. This test wasn’t just any test either. The all-new hybrid tested very well, as both cars finished the 10 laps required to qualify and the fastest lap amongst the two was 3:27.204, which was only 1.277 seconds slower than the fastest car (the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro ).

The only issues with the run that Toyota Motorsport GmbH reported were a few bits of “minor bodywork damage,” which the team didn’t elaborate on in its press release. Other than that, the test was a complete success for the Toyota team, but it was down its main driver, Stéphane Sarrazin, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident. Sarrazin is expected to be ready to resume driving duties before the race starts next week, so everything is looking good for Toyota. With Sarrazin missing, Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima were behind the wheel of the No. 7 car, and the No. 8 car had Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi piloting it.

With all of the new cars, like the Toyota TS030 and the extremely intriguing Nissan DeltaWing , this 24 Hours of Le Mans is sure to be a fun one to watch. The race starts on Saturday, June 16th and the green flag drops at 3:00 p.m. Le Mans time, which is 7:00 a.m. EST.

Click past the jump to read Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s full press release on the debut.


Back to top