It seems that hybrid is not the future anymore! Automakers are starting to turn away from the notion of the performance hybrid, the term coined to market gas-electric vehicles based on extra pep instead of fuel thriftiness. Toyota’s luxury Lexus division plans to hawk its high-end hybrid vehicles as being better for the environment because they pollute less than rival brands.

"That was always supposed to be part of the message, but it just hasn’t come through," says Mark Templin, the division’s new general manager. "It legitimizes what we have been doing."

First dropped hybrid comes from Honda: the six-cylinder hybrid version of its performance-oriented Accord sedan. Reason? Poor gas mileage compared with other hybrids, such as Honda’s four-cylinder Civic or Toyota’s Prius.

General Motors is skipping the performance hybrid tactic in selling its new hybrid Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs.

Each of three Lexus hybrids only achieves one or two more miles per gallon than comparable non-hybrid versions. The $104,000 Lexus LS 600h L super-luxury sedan gets 21 m.p.g. in combined city/highway driving, the $41,180 RX 400h SUV achieves 25 m.p.g., and the $54,900 GS 450h sedan merits 23 m.p.g.

Source: Freep

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