Posts Tagged ‘Hybrid’

Demand Drops as New Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt Introduced

September 10th, 2015

2016 Toyota PriusThe 2016 Toyota Prius had its global debut Tuesday in Las Vegas. The main message at the premiere was not fuel economy. It was looks and handling.

Sure, almost every car in the world is sold on looks and handling, but that’s a huge change in direction for the most fuel-efficient car on the market that doesn’t have a plug. Toyota didn’t totally step away from that message. After all, it expects the Prius, when it goes on sale early in 2016, to get a combined 55 mpg.

It’s not a problem unique to the Prius, either. Fuel efficiency is an almost impossible selling point when the national price for gas is $2.39, according to AAA, which predicts prices could fall below $2. That’s great for us as consumers, but lousy for Toyota as it introduces its latest and greatest hybrid vehicle.

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: Sophisticated Mediocrity

September 24th, 2013

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Nothing illustrates how far hybrid technology has come in the last decade better than the Honda Accord.

Built from 2004-2006, the first Accord Hybrid achieved up to 33 miles per gallon and cost just over $30,000 new. It’s combined EPA rating of 28 mpg was only slightly better than a 4-cylinder gas-only Accord’s, which scored a 24 mpg combined rating and got up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Obviously, the equation didn’t work out, and people shied away from the hybrid. I remember driving one back in 2004 and noticing the split-second pause when the engine transitioned between gas and electric power. Needless to say, it wasn’t an impressive car.

Can the 2014 Accord Hybrid make up for its predecessor’s follies?

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Cars Coming Soon: Hypercars from McLaren and SSC

May 23rd, 2013
SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

By the end of this year two of the fastest, most extreme cars to ever grace the earth will be available to discerning buyers. More accurately, they will begin to be delivered to buyers who ordered them well in advance.

McLaren and SSC (formerly Shelby SuperCars) have released more details about their shiver-inducing machines and the timing of their releases, which should be close enough to stage some pretty intense comparison testing. Instead of racing to 60 miles per hour, though, these cars will be measured by the time it takes to approach 200.

With around 2,200 horsepower between the two cars and prices well above a million dollars each, 2013 should end with a blistering battle for supercar supremacy.

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Should Electric Vehicles Make Noise at Low Speeds?

January 9th, 2013

2012 Nissan Leaf

Imagine walking toward the entrance of your local grocery store when, as you pass the row of parked cars, you hear the clip-clop of an approaching horse.

Surprised, you stand still and wait, not wanting to get run over by a Clydesdale.

But instead of a majestic animal, a diminutive Nissan Leaf glides by, emanating the sound of hooves on pavement.

It seems ridiculous, but something similar could soon become law.

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