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.

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

The BMW i8 , by all accounts, is a pretty incredible ride. It looks sexy as hell; it’s got an advanced powertrain; and the technology used on the hybrid sports car is arguably second-to-none. All that being said, even the i8 is entitled to a bad day or two, and as this video painfully shows, one of those bad days reared its ugly head during a recent testing session at the Nurburgring.

At the start, the i8 looks to have been running smoothly, effortlessly stretching its legs while weaving around one of the world’s most famous race tracks. But during one run down a straight, the i8 slows down and drives into a patch of grass on the side.

We don’t know exactly what happened to the i8, but it doesn’t look like it was part of the testing script. Maybe it lost power, or there were some mechanical glitches in that weave of wiring inside the car. But something happened to the i8 because cars like this one don’t slow down on the side of the road for anything.

We actually don’t know who made out better between Mark Webber and Maria Sharapova. On one hand, the tennis star had an opportunity to ride shotgun in a Porsche 918 Spyder with one of the best race car drivers in the world behind the wheel. On the other hand, Mark Webber got to drive with Maria Sharapova. See where the struggle comes in?

That being said, it was pretty neat to see two star athletes from different sports share in the experience of enjoying one of the most exotic cars in the world today. The promotional drive happened during the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, and by the looks of things, both Webber and Sharapova seemed to enjoy the experience of being inside the 2014 918 Spyde r and all the things that’s made it into a modern-day icon in its own right.

Maybe her experience in the 918 Spyder motivated Sharapova to beat Ana Ivanovic to win the tournament for the third consecutive year. She also received a Porsche 911 Targa for her victory, although after watching this video, she probably would have no problem trading the 911 up for a 918 Spyder.

A quick reminder that the 918 Spider is the newest hybrid supercar from Porsche that cranks out an amazing 887 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque. This allows it to hit a top speed of 211 mph (93 mph in full-EV mode) and 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds.

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.


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