Porsche all new Panamera Turbo is an tremendously capable four door family car that is not only great for hauling around the family and some groceries, but it’ll also stick you into the back of the seat with it’s performance. However, it looks like Porsche has something up their sleeves which will leave even the Turbo Panamera in the dust. That task will be left to a hybrid Panamera which will leverage technology you already see in Porsche’s supercar the 918 Spyder.
The news isn’t hush hush about the hybrid Porsche as the automaker stated this fact at the Panamera’s debut recently. The hybrid will be no slouch and likely produce somewhere in the 700hp range. This is a great leap in power above the Panamera Turbo S which currently pumps out around 580hp. Porsche also stated that there will be two hybrid models to come, but has only mentioned the 700hp version so far. That’s leaving us speculating what monster of a Panamera are they going to release in the future.
Company owner Christian Von Koenigsegg has said it before, he refuses to use electric technology to achieve the hyper levels of horsepower in todays hypercars. So that made the announcement that the Regera will be using a hybrid power source very conflicting. But Koenigsegg himself will be the first one to correct you and say don’t call it a hybrid. And in Koenigsegg fashion, this isn’t your typical hybrid. It has no transmission, but we’ll get back to that later.
Onboard the Koenigsegg is a 5.0L turbo V8 “conventional” gas motor but there’s also three electric motors. The electric motors are powered by a 9kWh, 620-volt water cooled batter. There is one electric motors are assigned to move the drive shaft producing 215hp, and two separate electric motors powering each rear wheel making 241hp each totally nearly 700hp on just electric power. On full electric mode, the Regera has a range of about 22 miles. Once the gas motor kicks in, the combined power output bumps to approximately 1,500hp and 1,475lb/ft of torque. All of that power delivers a 0-100km/h sprint in a mere 2.8 seconds
The Geneva Motor Show is going to be an exciting show for both Lexus and their loyal customers. The Lexus LC500 revealed at the Detroit Auto Show is Lexus’ newest high performance coupe coming down their assembly line. No information has been released about the vehicle as of now relating to its power train and performance capabilities. However, that won’t stop Lexus to tease consumers with a potential hybrid powertrain option.
The only information revealed so far is that the hybrid system will be Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid System. Again, no details have been shared to the public on this systems capability. But expect that in this case hybrid means challenging efficiency while pushing the boundaries of performance capabilities. Everything else that we’ve seen visually on the LC500 will remain the same which is exactly what consumers are hoping for given the amazing well designed and proportioned esthetics of the performance coupe.
The Morgan Motor Company is well known for using renewable resources such as wood to build he frames of their cars. It looks like the company is pushing again into the green energy space and will start producing hybrid and electric vehicles starting 2019.
Morgan is receiving $8.5 million USD in government funding to support in the design and manufacturing of vehicles that will help lower carbon emission levels. The funding will help the company diversity it’s alternative fuel vehicles as well as create more jobs to support production.
Steve Morris, Morgan Managing Director, said “This is a very exciting project for us. We have been involved in the research and development of new propulsion technology since the inception of the LifeCar project almost 10 years ago.” He went further to say, “We are now ready to develop the best hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions for production implementation before the end of the decade.”
Hyundai has finally released images of the much talked about Ioniq along with specifications for its engine. The Korean hybrid will use a traditional hybrid motor that produces approximately 150hp. The power comes from a 1.6L Kappa GDI engine which produces 104hp from gas and an additional 43hp supplied by an electric motor. Hyundai will be mating the engine to a dual-clutch transmission which further helps promote fuel economy.
Additional weight savings is found by a generous amount of aluminum being used around the car such as the hood and trunk. The lithium-ion battery will be placed as low as possible to promote better handling and weight distribution, again helping to boost fuel economy.
Judging by Hyundai’s recently released specification and images, the Ioniq Hybrid will be quite the contender for Toyota’s Prius.
Chevrolet announced that in 2016 it will be producing a Hybrid Malibu which will be priced at around the $30,000 mark for its based model.
The Hybrid Malibu will share an electrical powertrain with the Volt, but the Malibu will run a slightly larger 1.8L 4 cylinder gas motor versus the Volt’s 1.5L 4 cylinder. Interestingly, the Hybrid Malibu will be priced below the Volt.
The 2016 Malibu will be using a new Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery system is designed to leverage hot exhaust gases for alternate purposes like heating the cabin of the vehicle. Performance on the new Hybrid Malibu is expected to be 45 mpg highway, 48 mpg city and a combined fuel efficiency of 47 mpg. Battery range will be in the vicinity of 55 miles when only electric power is chosen.
Although the Malibu is priced lower than the Volt, it is the most expensive in the entire Malibu model range. Once the cars hit the showroom floor, it’ll be interesting to watch consumer’s response to the new model.
We got a brief reprieve from $1.30/L gas prices when oil tanked (zing), but less than a month later we’re nearly back to where we started. Alberta may be oil country, but that doesn’t mean people are willing to get bent over at the pump forever. We still love our V8s (and always will), but it’s starting to make more and more sense to pick up a more efficient commuter. It’s not just gas prices, but an entire culture of eco-friendliness which is driving the push for efficient vehicles elsewhere in North America. Consumers are demanding green cars and the manufacturers are being forced to respond. Hybrids and electrics are stealing the headlines right now, but North America is also seeing a reemergence of the sub-compact segment which hasn’t had much hold here in over a decade. While Canadian sales of sedans like the Camry, Accord and Fusion dropped from 2013 to 2014, we saw double digit increases for small cars like the Accent, Fit, Yaris and Mirage.
Of course, not everybody wants a tiny hatchback, and a lot of people require more capable vehicles, which means going with something larger and, usually, far less efficient. Luckily for them, manufacturers are being pressured to increase efficiency across their entire range. CAFE regulations, which penalize manufacturers whose fleet doesn’t meet a minimum fuel efficiency requirement, have raised the bar for small passenger cars by over 40% since 2005. They will continue increasing it by another 5% annually until 2025 where they’ll mandate 60 mpg. This means that car makers don’t just need to offer a fuel efficient car to those who want one, they need to increase the efficiency of their entire line-up or pay significant penalties. Now technically CAFE only applies to cars built in the United States, but Canadian Environmental Protection Act was recently amended to include very similar provisions for cars built here.
Hybrids are infecting the rest of the Toyota Line. Today, in New York, Toyota unveiled the latest RAV4. The Rav4 got a bit of a polishing with new LED headlights, tail lights and bumper treatments. Other improvements include a new cup holder that accommodates your favourite mug with handles and paddle shifters on the new SE trim level.
When Hyundai brought the newly designed Sonata line-up to New York early in 2014 the hybrid trim was nowhere to be seen. Nobody at Beyond noticed, but most of us have problems seeing green anyway. For those of you left distraught by the absence, fret no more! The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is here in Detroit and it looks almost exactly like every other trim. Which, if you didn’t know, is a good thing. I was a huge fan of the last Sonata face-lift and, while this isn’t as dramatic a step forward, it’s further progress for the Koreans. Aside from the updated looks, the new hybrid replaces its 2.4L gas engine with a 2.0L making 154 hp and pairs it with a 51 hp electric motor.
Sitting right beside the standard Hybrid without any pomp or fanfare was the all-new Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, offering 22 miles of range on electricity alone. Hyundai advertised quick and programmable recharge stations, which allow you to “fuel” up your car overnight during off-peak hours when rates are at their lowest. Neither of these vehicles were the highlight of Hyundai’s presentation today, but both are extremely significant to the brand. Hyundai acknowledges that the Sonata, in all its forms, is the cornerstone of their brand at the moment and their success is tied to this one model. We’re sure the refreshed Hybrid and new Plug-In Hybrid will keep them on the right track, allowing them to release things like the Santa Cruz Utility Concept.
Mercedes-Benz may proclaim this year as the year of the SUV, but seeing all the unveils so far at the Detroit North American International Auto Show, it’s more like the year of the EV/PHV/PHEV. Many manufactures are chasing fuel economy, and even in the Mercedes-Benz press conference, they are targeting 10 new Plug-in Hybrids in their lineup within the next 2 years. Starting things off, the C350 Plug-in Hybrid is the first of the 10 out of Stuttgart.
Available in both sedan and wagon form (wagon is a European market exclusive), the C350 PHV puts out a total of 279hp, with the ability to drive in all electric mode for up to 30kms, while delivering only 2.1L/100km of fuel consumption. With more weight comes a necessity for better suspension control, which is why the C350 comes standard with AIRMATIC air suspension to offer drivers a more comfortable ride and sharper handling. Charging from a 220V outlet at home, the C350 PHV obtains a full charge in under 2 hours, replenishing the batteries for another 30kms of range.