Is Jaguar Going Hybrid While Ferrari Goes 4×4?

A rendering of what the new XJ could look like

A rendering of what the new XJ could look like

Fans of electric cars should get all charged up over this!

Okay, bad puns aside, there’s some dang cool happenings coming out of the electric-vehicle world lately. 

For starters, Toyota plans to begin leasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle later this year. The odds of you or me getting one aren’t good; only about 500 will be offered, and they’ll be spread across mostly government clients in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Still, this is a sign that the Prius won’t be Toyota’s only hybrid star for much longer. 

And if you think that’s cool, check out scrappy little Subaru, who just beat Toyota to the punch by announcing that their own plug-in hybrid, the Stella, will be available for sale in Japan starting this July. For our Japanese friends, you might want to set up camp outside your Subie dealer now, because only 150 will be offered in the first year.  

coda-sedanOut of Santa Monica, Calif., comes news that a company called Coda Automotive will offer a four-door, five-seat electric sedan priced around $35K. It’s said to be powered by 728 batteries and have a top speed of 80 mph. I don’t know about you, but with 728 batteries I’d expect a top speed closer to 8,000 mph. The Tesla Roadster reaches 125 mph on… let’s see… one battery pack. Hmmm.

Then there’s the insanely cool news that Jaguar may develop a hybrid version of its all-new XJ. The buzz around the unveiling of the completely redesigned Cat has me giddy already, and offering an electric version would firmly place Jag back in the upper tier of world-class luxury cars. 

The rumors are that the XJ would use technology similar to the Chevy Volt’s, making it a long-range EV rather than a true gas/electric hybrid.

Finally, there’s this news: Ferrari is developing a hybrid 4X4.

I know, on first read it can’t even be comprehended by the human mind. But it’s actually pretty cool:

Ferrari is working on a system that would provide electric power to a vehicle’s front wheels while keeping a traditional RWD gas-powered setup in the back. The main purpose is to create a better-handling, more stable supercar… but a side effect is electric-only power at slow speeds, resulting in cleaner emissions when tooling around the city. 

Of course Ferrari wouldn’t do that on purpose! 

Are you interested in following the development of electric vehicles, or are you the type who’d just rather know when they’re at the dealership?


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