September 4, 2013
This week’s Sneak Peek roundup- interesting news for car buyers. Take a look at the upcoming hybrid, hydrogen and electric car models that car manufacturers would soon be launching.
Toyota, pioneer in mass market hybrid technology, says the next generation Prius, launching in 2015, will be even more efficient thanks to a denser battery and more powerful engine. Other features may include lower center of gravity (more stability) and wireless charging technology.
Also launching in 2015 from Toyota is the FCV-R, a hydrogen car. Fuel cell technology is promising because its only emission is water vapor. Toyota believes fuel cell vehicles will be in widespread use by 2020.
Also in the works from Toyota is the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept, a sporty coupe that features the energy recovery system of the Le Mans concept, a third motor used as a generator, 420 horsepower, and all wheel drive.
With several super cars’ move toward hybrid, GM is allowing speculation about a Chevy Corvette Hybrid. Although the iconic American sports car hybrid is still in the rumor mill, Chevy is concretely releasing its 2014 Malibu with a Eco hybrid option.
There is another American company, Detroit Electric, that has more concrete plans for a high performance electric sports car. The company unexpectedly announced production of the SP:01 will be moved to Holland amidst reports of having trouble securing a work plant in Detroit. The SP:01 is reportedly based on the Lotus.
Moving full steam ahead with its “luxury hybrid supercar” experience is BMW. Photos and a video of the i8 hybrid sports car were leaked recently.
Nissan has rounded a new corner with the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid, the first all-Nissan designed and manufactured hybrid. A review of the effort looks promising.
Further signal of the industry’s seriousness about energy efficiency is the limited edition VW XL1. Said by VW to be “more a light house than a business model,” the company will produce only 250. The car will be built by hand, costing $146K, be super aerodynamic, and will get 100 kilometers for 1 liter of fuel (261 mpg).