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Lexus, Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Ford, Hybrid Cars
#1 of 126 Who can compete with Toyota/Lexus Hybrids?
Oct 12, 2003 (6:38 pm)
Is this the beginning of the end for the competition? Mercedes can't make a stick (or an SUV) after over 100 years in business, now they have to trump vehicles with 2 engines and 35 MPG? BMW is still trying to stop the design studio from chasing away their customer base, and now they have to combat two-headed monsters? My guess is Toyota/Lexus (and MAYBE Honda/Acura) have found the Magic Pill! If the Germans have it, they sure are quiet about it. The Americans wouldn't know what to do with it if they DID have it. Lexus could have a full lineup of gas/hybrid high-performance vehicles within 4-5 years? Most companies don't know how a hybrid works yet! Now Toyota/Lexus can get another 50-100HP extra into thir vehicles with one option? This is ON TOP of VVT-i technology, which already gives smaller engines the power of larger engines. It's like a Stage 1 upgrade/Stage 2 upgrade system. What do you think? Is Acura onto the same thing with the next RL? Will the RX400H outperform Cayennes and X5's with 30-35MPG? Speak out. Who can stop them from taking over?
Oct 12, 2003 (8:42 pm)
I don't think hybrids will be so successful that they're determine the fate of companies. They're doing better than the companies expected, and I hope they keep it up, but it'll be a long time before it's a major influence on purchases for most people.
But you're right, it looks like hybrids will belong to Toyota and Honda in the near future.
Oct 12, 2003 (10:16 pm)
for pleasant hybrid surprises from GM. Apart from that, I think the next decade of hybrid cars will be dominated by Toyota and Honda, but especially Toyota, which is already licensing and selling their hybrid tech to other car companies, something that could make them some really juicy profits in the next ten years if even more car companies come a-callin'
#4 of 126 Yes, Honda and Toyota ...........................
Oct 13, 2003 (6:27 am)
Have marketed the only useful IC/electric hybrids to date, but don't expect them to "take over" unless and until they are price competitive with conventional cars of comparable performance and utility.
But this has already been discussed at length in the "Is it time to buy a hybrid ..........." thread.
#5 of 126 daysailer
Oct 14, 2003 (12:39 pm)
Your point on price differential is well taken, but history is any example I believe it will be overcome within a fairly short period of time. At that point, you have a technology that offers attractive advantages in fuel efficiency and emission control. If other auto makers aren't with the program by that point, they could suffer. People won't pay a lot more to get lower fuel bills but they'll pay something, and if the lower fuel costs come essentially free, they'll be camping out at the doors of whatever brands offer them.
#6 of 126 Hybrids
Oct 14, 2003 (1:46 pm)
will be mostly cars from:
Nissan (entered a deal with Toyota for a hybrid Altima)
#7 of 126 SUVs are crucial too
Oct 14, 2003 (2:17 pm)
and Ford will be the first one if it ever quits the talk and actually makes the hybrid Escape available to the public - it will use the THS from the old Prius. If you have the $$ for a luxury nameplate, Lexus' own RX may be the first hybrid SUV available if Escape doesn't get with it pretty quick. HL will follow within a year, I think.
Exciting: Ford estimates the fuel economy of the hybrid Escape to be 36/32 (city/hwy). It is also estimated to have the acceleration of the V-6 gas-only.
If Toyota and Honda are the only ones to run with hybrid tech, it may peak and gradually whither away, absent an oil crisis, draconian new emissions regs, or something like that. Toyota already has a huge head start if there winds up being a hybrid race.
#8 of 126 Who needs a hybrid anyway?
Oct 14, 2003 (6:57 pm)
I want to know what the big deal is with having a hybrid anyway. The Feds are not really offering anything that special to people buying hybrid(tax-wise) and to actually believe that you'll be making any significant difference in our environment is VERY debatable. Is this a discussion on all types of cars or just Lexus/Toyota and their hybrid lead right now? Right now there are so many good cars available OTHER than Toy-Lex I shudder to even want to start typing them in here. Those smart men and women from South Korea are competing in a large way right now for starters.
#9 of 126 Same fate as Betamax?
Oct 14, 2003 (8:48 pm)
You all better relax a little bit, Hybrid cars are ancient technology.
The first cars were Steam, then Electric, then gas, then Hybrid and then back to gas after some things were ironed out like better gearboxes, clutches, final drives. Etc.
>but especially Toyota, which is already licensing and selling their hybrid tech to other car companies, something that could make them some really juicy profits in the next ten years if even more car companies come a-callin'
Why would anybody pay to somebody for reinventing the wheel, the Petersen automobile museum in L.A. has a 1917 Woods Hybrid car on display. Probably the earliest Hybrid was the Krieger, a front wheel drive Hybrid built in 1903.
As far as I know no fundamental breakthrough in automobile development has come from Japan other than the counter balancing shaft for vibration dampening on engines.
Automotive breakthroughs come mainly from Europe and in Europe the Diesel engine is the immediate future (numbering into the millions) because is the only engine that can double or triple the fuel mileage over a gas engine (displacement Vs displacement) and offer way more power than a hybrid or a gas engine, and after that, hydrocarbon cracking fuel cells.
The same thing is going to happen here in the US in three years when the mandate for low sulfur diesel fuel takes effect and the new common rail diesels become available. The success of the Diesel engine is due to the fact that it can convert the energy of the fuel into mechanical energy better than any IC power plant, the 230MPG experimental VW efficiency is 42% the best ever attained by any engine or the VW Lupo that went around the world averaging over 100MPG and reaching in some stretches over 140MPG.
That is the engine of the immediate future.
The diesel takes on the Hybrid.
Oct 14, 2003 (10:35 pm)
well........the hybrids being marketed today are not quite that 1917 Woods thingy - if they were, Toyota wouldn't have sold a one.
Problem with diesel will be marketing. People will remember those great 70s and 80s diesels from companies like Mercedes that had perennially blackened rear ends because of all the smoke, required warm-up time before you could actually drive them, and sounded like a Mack truck when you drove off in the morning.
No, that is nothing like today's diesels. But that is what people remember.
The "if" I wrote in that statement you quoted above was a big one, no, a HUGE one. I am certainly not convinced that other companies WILL come a-callin'.
In the end, diesels and hybrids will probably both remain a small percentage of the personal vehicle market because gas is too cheap in the US, and selling "green" vehicles to the American populace is almost an impossibility as well.