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.

Suzuki has big plans for its flagship model, the Kizashi. That much we already know. What we didn’t expect though was that the model would be branching out with different variants.

At the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker further cemented their intention of giving its customers new options for the sedan by unveiling a couple of concept cars tied up to its name.

One of these concepts is the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept, a hybrid vehicle Suzuki is preparing to compete against the likes of the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight , among other hybrid cars out on the market these days.

While Suzuki hasn’t had any discussions on the production plans for the car, we’d be very surprised if this model doesn’t get greenlighted for production soon, especially when you consider that the market is ripe for other brands to enter and give its established rivals a run for their money.

Either way, its looking more and more likely that the hybrid wars will have to make room for another vehicle.

Details on the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept after the jump.

General Motors has unveiled the Envision at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. While the concept itself won’t be put into production, the company says it "represents a convergence of future ideas and technology for Buick in the market."

The Envision Concept was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), and according to GM, integrates global design with local aesthetics for the China market, adhering to Buick’s "dynamic, fluid, quiet and comfortable" design essence.

The Envision has inherited Buick design DNA and taken the Buick global design language to a new height. It makes a significant statement for Buick styling and technology, and will influence upcoming models from the brand," said Ed Welburn, GM Vice President of Global Design.

And, in trend with all the latest concept cars, the Envision incorporates GM’s world-leading PHEV plug-in hybrid system.

Updated 04/18/2011: This review has been updated with the official images and details on the new Buick Envision Concept. Hit the jump to read the full details.

BMW may have been joking when they came out with their M3 Royal Edition , but this next car, sadly, is no joke at all. Among the many cars used during the royal ceremony taking place between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his future wife, Miss Charlene Wittstock, will be riding along in a Lexus LS600h . This event will probably top any and all of Lexus’ marketing efforts for the hybrid sedan, so top execs over there are probably giggling like school girls with excitement.

This specially prepared LS600h will feature integrated flashing lights, a royal insignia, and an "MC 01" license plate. Under the hood there will be the standard 5.0-liter V8 petrol engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 439 HP.

"His Serene Highness takes a keen interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world, founding the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in 2006. His Foundation supports more than 150 projects monitoring environmental evolution and protecting species endangered by climate change. It also provides assistance in water management in developing regions. With its pioneering state-of-the-art full hybrid technology delivering class-leading CO2 efficiency and environmental performances, Lexus is pleased to contribute to the objectives defined by His Serene Highness and to help the Principality of Monaco to become an international reference in terms of sustainable mobility."

Now all Lexus has to do is sit back and watch sales numbers peak.

BMW Brilliance Automotive will reveal at the Shanghai Auto Show a premium-segment plug-in hybrid sedan concept based on a long wheelbase version of the BMW 5 Series Sedan, developed exclusively for the Chinese automobile market and produced at the Shenyang site. Production version will begin in China in 2013.

The prototype is powered by a parallel hybrid drive set-up that combines a 214 HP combustion engine featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with an electrical motor that adds another 93 HP. The electrical motor takes its power from a special battery technology which includes the possibility of charging from a mains power supply.

When running purely on electrical power, it is possible to travel emission-free for up to 46 miles at a constant speed of 37 mph. Use of the combustion engine provides a minimum additional range of 248 miles, which is in line with the driving profile of Chinese customers in the premium segment.

German tuner, Je Design , is out to prove that even hybrid models can be cool when given the appropriate upgrades, and one of their favorite models - the Volkswagen Touareg - seems like a good place to start. Their latest package is for the Touareg Hybrid and includes both exterior and engine updates.

The aerodynamic kit includes a new sports radiator grill, front spoiler, front and back wheel arch kit, rear apron insert, roof spoiler, and rear hatch. Rounding off the package is a new set of 10x12 inch aluminum wheels, back and front. The wheels are available in three different finishes: shadow silver with a polished front surface, matte black with a matte silver front surface, and matte graphite silver with polished rim.

For the engine update, the tuner is offering dual exhaust pipes and optimized engine management for the supercharged V6 TSI engine. The electric motor was left untouched, but the other upgrades leave the Touareg with a total output of 440 HP and a peak torque of 464 lbs-ft. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is now made in 5.9 seconds, while top speed has been increased to 158 mph.

Posted on by Alexander + 13

The recently launched Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is headed to the big time as Porsche has just announced that Jimmy Johnson’s number 48, Chad Knauss will have the pleasure of lapping the sports sedan during the Sprint Cup.

According to the email we received, Johnson said he needed an edge to beat out Kyle Busch and his Toyota Camry and he thought the Panamera S Hybrid would be the way to go. The Panamera would be further prepared to tackle the circuits with the use of the Sports Intelligence Performance Hybrid running gear borrowed from the GT3 RS and 918 Race Lab and a V8/KERS system developed with Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Johnson commented on this decision by saying that "having Porsche on the grid will get people excited about something, ANYthing, that he does and will hopefully erase some of his reputation of being boring. ’Maybe.’"

If you haven’t guessed by now, this is 100% an April Fool’s joke. Did they get ya?

While we’re preparing for our New York Auto Show, the other side of the world is hosting numerous automakers at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show in Korea. One of the automakers dazzling the show floor is Chevrolet with their new Miray concept car - a mid-electric hybrid-powered sports car whose name means "Future" in Korean. The concept was built to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary and previews the company’s future design language evolution.

The new Miray concept combines design elements from the 1963 ’Monza (Monza) SS’ and 1962 Corvair Super Spyder and molds them into a futuristic design language. It features an aerodynamic body shape with Le Mans (Le Mans) racer-style vertical doors, a dual-port grille, LED headlamps, a carbon fiber spoiler, and a new set of wheels, 20" at the front and 21" at the rear.

According to GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone, "’Mi-ray’ is Korean for ‘future.’ As GM rolls out Chevrolet across Korea, the Mi-ray concept offers an exploration of future possibilities for the brand. It strengthens the bond between car and driver, creating a fresh look at what sports cars of the future might be."

UPDATE 08/16/11: The Chevrolet Mi-Ray Concept left such an impression at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year that the Bowtie has decided to bring the Asia-penned concept car to one of the biggest auto shows of the year in Frankfurt. That’s great news because when we saw in Seoul, we couldn’t get enough of it, so to see it in Frankfurt is a pretty good treat for us.

Hit the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Mi-ray concept.

Posted on by Alexander + 10

What could be better than winning a brand new Porsche tax-free? Well, dear sirs, that would be winning two Porsches tax-free. And to make things even more enticing; one of those Porsches is a one-of-a-kind 2011 Hurley Haywood Edition Porsche GT3. Intrigued? Read on.

Continental Tire and GRAND-AM are offering up the 2011 Hurley Haywood Edition Porsche GT3 and a 2011 Porsche Cayenne S. Hybrid as part of the 2011 Continental Tire Dream Giveaway, a fundraising event sponsored by WorldCause Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards Camp Boggy Creek, a camp for children - ages 7-16 - who are suffering from chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

The 2011 Hurley Haywood Edition Porsche GT3 is the fastest, most powerful 911 GT3 to date and was named after Motorsports Hall of Famer and GRAND-AM Racing legend, Hurley Haywood. It is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter six-cylinder boxer engine that produces 435 HP. This output gets the GT3 from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and doesn’t stop until it hits 194 mph.

The2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is the newest version of the popular Porsche SUV. It is powered by a combination of a supercharged V6 engine and a 47 HP electric motor. Total output for the package is 380 HP and 427 lb-ft, allowing the Cayenne to make it to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and giving it a top speed of 150 mph.

So, there you go folks. You have a chance to win a speedy family transporter and a one-of-a-kind rockstar sports car, all for just entering yourself in a drawing and helping some kids. Can’t beat that!

Hit the jump to read more about how to enter the 2011 Continental Tire Dream Giveaway.

It’s open season for racers everywhere and this latest vehicle may just put a few more people in the mood to grab some asphalt and take off! Problem is, the Reptile Hybrid is just a concept with little hope of ever being produced. Bummer.

The Reptile Hybrid is a two-seater sportscar designed by Arturo Ariño from Barcelona, Spain. His intention was to create a lightweight racing car that could also be used on the streets. The concept features an open-wheel layout with a sporty interior and two seats. The exterior design has a futuristic air to it with the rear spoiler and the side wings being integrated into one component. The white exterior paint is broken up with sweeping red sides that act as a guide for air flow.

Being that it is a hybrid, of course, the Reptile combines a 2.7 liter rear-mounted Wankel engine that develops a total of 700 HP with a 4-pole electric induction motor. When driving, the electric batteries are recharged while the wheels are spinning, but with a touch of the "Race" button, the Wankel engine gets to work.

Do we think this vehicle stands a chance at ever seeing glimpses of the production line? Probably not, but at least there are people out there that are headed in the right direction in terms of design and power. It won’t be long before cars like the Reptile Hybrid Concept and many other hybrid variations are all we see on the track and the streets. Lightweight and hybrid just seems to be the way to go for everyone.

Posted on by Christian Seabaugh 21

Gas prices have been soaring nationwide for sometime now. As of March 2011, the national gas price average is $3.56 and rising. For many enthusiasts that may sound like the death knell for the cars they know and love. We can hear it now, “No more supercharged V8s, no more twin turbocharged V6s. Goodbye Mustangs, goodbye Corvettes.” It really sounds like a bleak outlook for enthusiasts who live, breathe, and eat these cars (not literally, of course).

Luckily, that doesn’t have to be our future. As many of you are already aware, many companies are making great strides to preserve performance cars for all of us. They’re using new technologies to not only make sports and super cars faster, but they’re using those same technologies to make them more fuel efficient, giving us hope that there will be no end to the fast cars that we love.

That’s where we come in. We have come up with our list of the Top 10 Hybrid Sports and Super Cars that all utilize new technologies to make them faster, more fun, and more fuel-efficient. All of these cars are either on sale now, will be in the future, or will have their technologies transferred into production cars within the next few years.

Hit the jump to check out are list of top ten hybrid sports and super cars.


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