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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.


Nissan may have plenty of models to boast of, but the one car that stands out to anyone looking for a vehicle with a little pep in its step is the Nissan Z car. Back in 1964, Nissan began toying with the idea of building a sports car to add to their lineup, but it wasn’t until 1969 that a vehicle was actually produced. The Datsun 240Z was available in two versions - and proved to be the successful sports car that Nissan had anticipated. Six generations later and Nissan had produced many variations of the vehicle, including the ever-popular 370Z . Now, after only four years since the latest 370Z was created, rumors are flying suggesting that Nissan is ready to go at it again with a new generation Z. Not only will the world be getting one of their beloved sports cars once again, but it may also be powered by a hybrid drivetrain, a rumor we first heard back in 2010 most likely the same one used in the Infiniti M hybrid . Yes, the world is going hybrid, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Z.


With gas prices heading well above $3.00 per gallon in most states, economical cars and trucks have made a resurgence in the American automotive consumer’s mind. One can hardly drive down a road without seeing one of the first and most popular hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius. Most major manufacturers have since produced these types of vehicles and there are more new models in the works, even from upstart luxury manufacturers.

One of the premier automotive designers in the industry felt hybrid cars were lacking in both excitement and luxury, and decided to take it upon himself to create a new segment. Henrik Fisker previously designed such memorable cars as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9 . His company originally made several re-bodied versions of the Mercedes SL and the BMW 6-series , but in very limited production and a high price tag. Fisker Automotive became a true manufacturer in 2007 with the simple idea of creating an inspired, beautiful, and exciting luxury hybrid vehicles. Shortly after, the Fisker Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s easy to see why it turned more than a few heads with its voluptuous flowing lines and promised 50-mile full electric range.

As if drop-dead good looks were not enough to distinguish this car from other eco-friendly vehicles, the performance numbers help the Karma truly pull away from the crowd. Its 0-60 mph performance is said to be in the neighborhood of 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Karma may not be able to keep up with your neighbor’s Porsche Panamera , but while you’re getting 67 miles per gallon, he will be sitting at a gas station.

UPDATE 03/23/2011: Three years after the Karman first debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the first unit has finally rolled out of the Valmet Automotive’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. US and European customers will receive their first units by next month.

UPDATE 07/13/11: Finally, the Fisker Karma is set to be delivered to its first customers. It took a long time, but the wait is now over. The luxury plug-in hybrid sedan is scheduled to be delivered later this month with the first person expected to get his hands on it being no other than Hollywood A-lister and eco-guy Leonardo di Caprio. According to Fisker, there are already 3,000 pre-orders for the car with the wait list expected to hit until early 2012.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Fisker Karma.

No, this isn’t one of those articles that highlights the great and not-so-great features of a really old model. The picture you see before you is actually a brand-spanking new vehicle, and the first model to leave the Liege workshops for more than 50 years. This is the Imperia GP Imperia GP which illustrates what one can do if they pick the right retro style and give it a modern twist, kind of like the Morgan Aero SuperSport , but hybrid and slower.

Imperia Automobiles set out to revive their Belgian brand with a new sports car created with PowerHybrid motorization technology developed by Green Propulsion. This lead them to a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an output of 210 hp and 250 Nm of torque, plus a 136 hp electric motor. The GP can go up to 70 kilometers on pure electric mode, while taking five hours to fully charge the batteries.

The Imperia GP will go on sale sometime this year with a starting price of 89,950 euros (or $122,934 at the current rates). Imperia Auto will also offer a GP "First Edition" model that will go on sale with a price tag of 120,360 euro (or $164,496 at the current rates).

Hit the jump to read more about the Imperia GP.


A ripple of excitement began a few days ago when Porsche first announced that they would be bringing a new hybrid model to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. There were plenty of models we would have liked to see clutching on to a hybrid engine setup. In fact, we were expecting an alligator-sized model to be causing this movement in the water, but instead, it seems we are getting more of a stray leaf than a full-blown animal. When the Geneva Motor Show opens its doors in March, Porsche will be unmasking their new Panamera S Hybrid. Oh joy (insert sarcasm here).

It’s not a secret that many of us don’t exactly share the same enthusiasm for the Porsche luxury sedan as does Porsche or any of the sedan’s owners. We simply can’t understand why Porsche would create a speedy family-carrying sedan. That being said, there are many fans of the Panamera out there and we guess that keeping up with the times and going green would be the next logical step.

The new Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is will be getting all of its powertrain and technological cues from the Cayenne S Hybrid. Under the hood, we’ll find a 3.0 liter V6 compressor engine with an output of 333 HP combined with an electric motor that adds an extra 47 HP. With this hybrid system, the Panamera will deliver a fuel economy of 39.79 mpg.

The new model will go on sale this June, with prices in the US market prices starting from $ 95,000.

Hit the jump to read more about the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid.

You know that you live in a world that’s dominated by the internet and social media when you have an automaker that makes a special edition model because it’s social media fan page has reached 1 million fans.

Look no further than German automaker Porsche , who thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the milestone that is 1 million fans on their Facebook page by coming out with a special exhibition inside the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart solely dedicated to a unique custom-made 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid . So what exactly is so unique about this particular model? Take a look at its exterior and you’ll notice that it has been adorned with signatures of more than 27,000 Porsche fans on Facebook. While this particular model is expected to be just a special exhibit piece, we do know that the 911 GT3 R Hybrid embodies the very spirit of our fast-paced world with the company’s new Porsche Intelligent Performance program, and as such, makes it the ideal car to be chosen to honor the company’s ever-growing fan base on the popular social network site.

More details along with the press release after the jump.

Source: Porsche

Porsche has proven to be extremely capable of keeping everyone in suspense for an insufferable amount of time when it comes to the unveiling of an model. They did it with the 918 RSR Concept before it was unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show and it looks like they will being doing something similar with a new model at the Geneva Motor Show. Apparently, a new parallel full hybrid model will be making its world debut in Geneva on March 1st, 2011 at a press conference held at the Porsche stand (stand 1050) in Hall 1, starting at 7:30 a.m.

Porsche is keeping mum in regards to any details for the new hybrid, but since the have already said the new model will feature the same hybrid drivetrain as found in the Cayenne , we believe we’ll be checking out the hybrid version of their latest Panamera sedan in Geneva. If we’re correct, then the hybrid should come with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 333 HP combined with an electric motor that develops 47 HP.

Also making an appearance at the Porsche stand will be the 918 RSR and the 911 Black Edition .

At the Chicago Auto Show that is scheduled to start tomorrow, Buick will bring the 2012 Regal eAssist, a new model added to the current Regal line-up that already includes the 2.4L and 2.0L Turbo models, and the upcoming Regal GS . The new model will go on sale this fall. The same technology has been recently unveiled in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse .

"Buick’s eAssist technology means customers don’t have to trade a premium driving experience for efficiency," said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. "We believe Regal and LaCrosse with eAssist provide more logical and affordable choices, compared to other hybrid midsize and full-size luxury sedans. It’s really an extension of the conventional internal combustion engine, not a replacement for it."

The new eAssist technology combines a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a small electric motor powered by a 115-volt lithium-ion battery. The result is an improvement of 20% in fuel economy.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist.


We don’t talk about Infiniti all too often here on TopSpeed, but lately they have been part of our news due to their new Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) and the fact that they will be debuting two new M-based models at the Pebble Beach Concours. Now we get to talk about them for a different reason. Infiniti is now ready to introduce the technological advancements in the M35h that they have been discussing for quite some time: world-first steering and braking technologies. These technologies will be ready to roll when the car goes on sale in the USA and Europe in 2011.

The Infiniti M35H will be powered by a hybrid drive system that combines a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 68 HP electric motor mated to a 7-speed Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) automatic transmission. The motor directly operates the brakes using a system called the Electric Driven Intelligent Brake. This system works by allowing the motor to charge the battery when the driver applies the brake. The steering is also unique in the M35h because it is part hydraulic and part electric. The electric portion kicks in when the wheel is turned which boosts efficiency. Both of these technologies may be found in all future Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid vehicles due to their simplicity and effectiveness.

Update 02/07/2011: Infiniti has announced today the official official EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) fuel economy figures for the M35h. The V6 hybrid sedan has a fuel economy is 27 mpg City, 32 mpg Highway, with Combined fuel economy rated at 29 mpg.

UPDATE 01/24/2012: Nissan’s luxury division has released a video of their new M35h sedan taking on the equally irrepressible 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid.

Not one to back down from a German challenge for full-on hybrid supremacy, the M35h and the Panamera S Hybrid engaged in a quarter-mile drag race - with surprising results.

Not only did the 360-horsepower M35h complete its time in just 13.4 seconds - impressive for a hybrid! - but it also managed to spank the Panamera S Hybrid by a good second. On top of that, the time is also a marked improvement from their previous record time of 13.9031 seconds , eclipsing the Guinness World Record by a tidy half-a-second. Check out the video to watch the Infiniti M35h show up the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid.

UPDATE 02/13/12: Infiniti has released a behind-the-scenes look at all the preparation work, setup, and equipment involved in filming the video showing the M35h’s record-breaking acceleration time. It sure looked like it took a lot of complicated equipment just to shoot a video on how the M35h became the fastest accelerating hybrid in the world.

Press release after the jump.


The steam is running out on the launch of Lexus’ CT 200h, so what better way to keep up the pace than to bring out a special Lexus CT200h hybrid concept designed by Five Axis? This particular tuner knows a thing or two about tuning Lexus models simply because they are well known for the partnership they have with Toyota Toyota and Lexus. So far, we only have a sketch of the concept revealed by Five Axis, but it allows us to get an idea of the special vehicle that is scheduled to be revealed at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show in just a few days!

The Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis will be showcasing some serious custom aerodynamics, a Tein suspension, 19-inch wheels, Stoptech brakes, and a custom touch-screen interface. All of the updates are purely aesthetic - no engine work here - because the tuner wants to focus on improving the car’s look to attract younger buyers.

The CT 200h’s full hybrid system combines a 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. Not sure how this 134hp engine setup will go over with the younger crowd, but thinking "green" is such a fad nowadays that aesthetics improvements just may be enough to win them over.

Aftermarket extraordinaire, Wald International, is pulling out all the stops with the release of another styling package to go along with their masterful work on the Rolls Royce Phantom Extend Wheelbase . Though it’s not as luxurious as the Phantom, the Lexus LS600h and the LS600hL are shiny pieces of rides in their own right. And that’s before Wald International does its magic.

Once the tuning company adds their new “Sports Line Black Bison” package, then you end up with a sparkling sedan that’s as beautiful as it is imposing. Among the additions that make up the Wald International package, the LS600h was given a new front bumper spoiler, new side steps, sports fender ducts, LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper spoiler, a roof spoiler, a trunk spoiler (Version 2), a new exhaust system, and a new set of black rims that complements the stealthy black exterior paint finish.

As a hybrid vehicle, Wald International spared any changes done on the powertrain, which means that the car retains the same 5.0-liter V8 gas engine and 165kW electric motor as the standard model. This powertrain, in turn, produces an output of 439 horsepower and 520Nm of torque with a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds.

Source: Wald International

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