Porsche has released the final, official data on their hybrid supercar, the 918, developed alongside of the car the the company will be racing at LeMans in 2014. The 11,000 word press release has everything you could possibly want to know about the 918, plus the new 911 Turbo as well as the rest of Porsche’s presence at the Frankfurt show, which focuses on the 50th anniversary of the 911. The 918 is powered by a 4.6 liter V8 gasoline fired ICE, dry sumped and mounted behind the cockpit, that puts out 608 hp, along with three electric motors that combined produce 286 hp, giving the driver up to 887 horsepower at his or her discretion (there is, apparently, a loss of 7 hp somewhere in full power mode). Performance is rated at 2.8 seconds for 0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) and 0-200 kmh in only 7.7 seconds. The 918 is a plug in hybrid, with a recharging time for the 7 kw/h lithium-ion battery of 4 hours on Germany’s 230 volt AC mains. Fast DC charging is said to take 25 minutes. If you want to, you can even get a speeding ticket while retaining green cred, top speed on electric power alone is 93 mph. Electric-only range, though, is limited to 10 to 20 miles per charge. Porsche is claiming 85 to 94 miles per gallon, but that probably isn’t when doing 0-62 kmh runs. Read More >
The chief engineer for Toyota’s Prius program, Satoshi Ogiso, who is also managing officer of Toyota Motor Corp, gave some hints about the next generation of Toyota’s highest profile hybrid car at a presentation held as part of Toyota’s Hybrid World Tour, a press event that gathered together all of Toyota’s hybrid cars sold around the world for the first time in one place, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, not far from Toyota’s large R&D center in Ann Arbor.
Ogiso, who oversees product planning and chassis engineering for Toyota, said that while the company continues to work on fuel cell cars and expects to be selling 10,000 or more fuel cell cars a year by the 2020s, Toyota is committed to the concept of hybrid cars that combine electric motors and combustion engines. Due to refinements in Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, the next Prius will get “”significantly better fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter weight and lower cost, Ogiso said.
Two years ago, Ford and Toyota agreed to perform a feasibility study on the two companies working together to develop a hybrid drivetrain for rear wheel drive pickups and SUVs. Apparently, working together wasn’t going to be feasible because Ford and Toyota have both issued statements announcing the end of the tie-up. Ford said that the Dearborn automaker will be developing their own hybrid system for RWD and said that the completely new hybrid architecture will be available by 2020. Read More >
When the Lincoln MKZ was introduced, Ford Motor Co. took the unusual step of pricing the MKZ Hybrid the same as the non-hybrid version of the car, $35,925. Assuming that would mean a good take rate for the Hybrid, Ford production planners for the 2013 model year set the mix at 20% for the gas-electric MKZ. The take rate turned out to be so good that for 2014, 40% of MKZs made will be hybrids. That’s what Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday. Hybrid sales in the U.S. market overall are up 18.3% for the first six months of this year, compared to 2012, and Ford has been benefiting from that surge. Ford’s share of the hybrid and EV market is now close to 16%, a huge improvement of 12% over last year. The C-Max, Fusion and MKZ hybrids have given the company a strong presence in the hybrid market. Ford attributes part of it’s overall U.S. market share increase of almost 1% over 2012 to electrified vehicle growth. For the first six months of 2013, Lincoln sold 3,090 MKZ Hybrid models, an average of 515 cars a month, but now that production delays that hampered the revised MKZ’s launch have apparently been overcome, for the 2nd quarter sales exceeded 715 units each month, closely matching the current build rate at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant.
Source: The Detroit News
Volkswagen plans to use the 0.8 liter diesel hybrid drivetrain from its futuristic, ultra-efficient and ultra-expensive (no pricing announced) XL1 two-seater in a future regular small car, Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Ulrich Hackenberg said today in an interview in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. Said Hackenberg: Read More >
Wired Autopia’s Damon Lavrinc got the chance to drive the Volkswagen XL1 in Germany. Lavrinc, who has a wealth of experience writing about automotive technology and alternative powertrains, gives us a good picture of what it’s like to drive the XL1, from the awkward entry/egress, to the seemingly underpowered air-conditioning system to the lack of a simple iPod connector (because that adds weight, natch). Check it out over at Autopia.
In three weeks, Bertel will return to the scene of his crimes at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, and will drive the XL1 on the same Wolfsburg-to-Berlin trip as Wired, maybe even the same XL1 as Wired. Check it out when he returns. If he does.
Ford is “seeking to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.’s dominance in gasoline-electric vehicles,” says Bloomberg.
According to the report, Ford “has rolled out the new C-Max hybrids and electric versions of its redesigned Fusion sedan in the past year to take on Toyota, which has dominated with its Prius hybrids since the early 2000s.” Some say, Ford already subjugated Toyota. Read More >
Volkswagen has been tinkering with hydrogen for longer than I can remember. Yesterday, CEO Martin Winterkorn said it was all for naught. Hydrogen fuel cells are unlikely to become a cost-effective way to power cars in the near future, Winterkorn told Automotive News at Volkswagen’s press conference in Wolfsburg. He said it’s not Volkswagen’s fault: Read More >
Last month, we suggested that PSA’s new compressed air hybrid system was a good way for PSA to drum up some investment into its ailing new car business. Now comes word that PSA wants to talk to other car makers, including alliance partner General Motors, about pooling the R&D cost of the new tech.
Afew years after its debut in concept form, Volkswagen is readying the ultra-efficient XL1 on a limited production basis. The XL1 could cost as much as 70,000 pounds (or $106,000), and return as much as 314 mpg (according to European test protocols).
Imports led the majority of the government’s green car purchases last year, with 54 percent of the nearly 1,800 green vehicles purchased by the federal government coming from Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. The federal government’s most-purchased hybrid wasn’t a Big Three product either. Instead, it was the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
NHTSA is proposing to make it mandatory that hybrid cars and EVs have the ability to emit a sound when traveling below 18 mph on electric power, as a means of warning pedestrians and cyclists. The system is said to add about $30 to the cost of each vehicle, and will no doubt tie up bureaucrats for months as they debate just what kind of tone will best protect the public from the horror of low-speed injuries. So why don’t we make life easier for them and decide ourselves?
Swedish clothing store H&M offers a generous 30-day return policy that urges customers to Buy It Now, Return It Later. Looks like Vauxhall will be following suit.
One of the most conspicuous absences from GM’s full-size truck reveal was the lack of any hybrid variants. The highly-touted but slow selling hybrid full-size trucks and SUVs were never intended to be the darlings of America’s truck space, but they played an important behind the scenes role for the company.