Archive for the ‘hybrid car’ Category

Aston Martin is the latest car maker to announce an all-hybrid or EV future

August 28th, 2017

Aston Martin

Aston Martin is the latest car maker to announce it’s going to move to an all-hybrid line up. CEO Andy Palmer has told the Financial Times that “We will be 100 per cent hybrid by the middle of the 2020s.” Palmer also told the FT that he expects about 25 percent of Aston Martin sales will be EVs by 2030. A similarly bold announcement was made by Volvo earlier this summer; however in this case Aston Martin will continue to sell non-hybrid versions of its cars as an option.

The first all-electric Aston Martin will be the RapidE, a sleek four-seater due in 2019. But that will be a limited-run model, with only 115 planned. There’s also the hybrid Valkyrie hypercar in the works, an F1 car for the road that’s being designed by Aston Martin in conjunction with Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey. But there will be more mainstream (if such a word can apply) hybrid and battery EV Aston Martins coming too. Like Volvo, some of these will just be 48V mild hybrids.

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The 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid punches above its weight class

August 16th, 2016

Middle-market SUVs might not set the heart racing, but just one model within this ubiquitous SUV segment means more—more volume, more customers—than the latest hypercar that 100 people might actually buy. Realize this and you awaken to the far greater statistical relevance of the plain old SUV. SUVs make the automotive world go ’round far more than exotics.

Couple that ubiquity with a hybrid drivetrain and it starts to get interesting. Hybridize a small car and you might increase fuel efficiency from 40 to 50MPG. But many more people drive big 15MPG SUVs than small efficient cars, and a hybrid SUV that delivers 20MPG actually involves a bigger improvement from the starting point. The stakes are higher.

Which brings us to Toyota’s Highlander. A mainstay of that ever-present strain of suburban SUVs, the Highlander offers a luxuriously impressive inside and comes close to elegance on the outside. Where Lexus has adorned all its recent cars and SUVs with the sharp-edged—and polarizing—corporate “spindle” grille and highly angular overall styling, it’s possible that the Highlander gets you most of the way to Lexus luxury but without the fussiness. Actually, it’s more than possible.

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GM might be planning to add electricity to the Corvette’s screaming V8

December 22nd, 2015

Just imagine one of these could do 30mpg even driven hard. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Since the 1960s, whether or not General Motors would finally put a mid-engine Corvette into production has been a perennial question for ‘Vette-watchers. Now they’ve got a new puzzle: is a hybrid Corvette on the way? The answer may be yes, based on a trademark that GM filed last week.

In fact, we asked Corvette’s product manager, Harlan Charles, exactly that question at the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette plant earlier this year: will we ever see a hybrid ‘Vette? Predictably, Charles refused to be drawn into the question and only commented that someone, somewhere within GM R&D was almost certainly looking at the idea.

The idea of a hybrid Corvette makes a lot of sense. If the sports car wants a future in a warming world, the days of single-digit fuel economy for the more muscle-bound members of the class will need to end. BMW’s i8 has already shown that’s possible. What’s more, General Motors has a wealth of electrification know-how now that the Volt is in its second generation.

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