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#1 of 453 What type of hybrid should I buy?
Mar 25, 2004 (6:23 am)
Hybrid vehicles are about to become available in a wide variety shapes & sizes.
Each will be configured differently, to satisfy a very diverse market of consumers.
Some will emphasize emission reduction. Some efficiency. Others power & speed.
Everyone has a different need. Hopefully, this discussion will help those wanting a hybrid make a well informed purchase decision.
Mar 25, 2004 (8:34 am)
for me to take a hybrid seriously, it would have to be around the size of a Malibu, Taurus, Intrepid, etc....around that general size class. And have fairly mainstream styling...nothing too off-the-wall, or that looks like it was inspired by "Mothra versus Rhodan"!
Of the hybrids that are out there, I think the latest Prius is actually a good attempt. A friend of mine recently bought one, and a few weeks ago I had a ride in it...I was actually pretty impressed! I don't think I could live down the exterior styling of it, but as small as it is on the outside, it's pretty comfy inside, and roomy enough for me, although I'd like a bit more shoulder room, for the occasional 5th passenger in back.
#3 of 453 andre1969
Mar 25, 2004 (8:44 am)
This fall, the Accord hybrid will be available. Might be just what you are looking for.
#4 of 453 Now something like that...
Mar 25, 2004 (8:53 am)
I could go for!
Mar 25, 2004 (10:09 am)
Since it isn't time yet to replace my 00 Celica, I can wait until they come out with a green light compact yet powerful, well weight distributed and gives more than 40 mpg hybrid.
If I have a kid by then, my need will change though.
#6 of 453 When I'm next in the market,........................
Mar 25, 2004 (10:37 am)
I'll not be seeking a hybrid specifically. Rather, as always, I'll buy the car that best fullfils my automotive requirements considering performance, utility, economy, ergonomics, reliability and whatever other priorities I may have at the time. If that car is a hybrid, so be it.
Based on current automotive examples and technology, my ideal might be something similar in concept to a Lotus Elise but made by Honda with IMA and, of course, costing less than $20k in 2004 dollars.
#7 of 453 HSD potential
Mar 25, 2004 (10:45 am)
HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) is the system currently available only in Prius. Later this year, it will also be available in a SUV... due to the flexibility the design offers.
Different size engines & motors & battery-packs can be attached to HSD, allowing for a variety of configurations.
The 2001-2003 model Prius used a 1.5 liter engine with 33kW motor and a 274volt battery-pack.
The 2004+ model Prius uses a 1.5 liter engine with a 50kW motor and a 204volt battery-pack, along with an inverter to increase the electricity to 500volts.
There is a 2004 model Prius used for racing. The low-emission, fuel-efficient Atkinson-Miller type engine was replaced with a standard Otto type engine, the one used in Echo. That change increased both the available horsepower and the maximum electricity available (via the on-the-fly generator). This was accomplished without the need to alter the HSD system at all. The original motor & battery-pack continued to be used, as is. The catch was that the fuel-efficiency dropped and the emissions increased. But it worked well for racing.
When HSD is introduced in a SUV, the configuration will put more emphasis on power and less on efficiency & emissions. This will result in a hybrid that can actually out-accelerate its traditional engine-only counterpart, yet still save some gas and reduce some emissions.
The SUV setup uses a 120kW motor in front and a secondary 50kW motor in back. This not only supplies greater power, it also demonstrates the potential of HSD design by providing 4-wheel drive.
#8 of 453 daysailer
Mar 25, 2004 (10:53 am)
A car like a Lotus Elise for under $20k sounds like a winner. Personally I'd like my next daily driver to have the looks, performance, and features of a BMW 330i, get over 100 mpg, PZEV emissions, and cost under $15k. I'll need a new car by the fall of '06 so I hope there's something like that available by then.
Mar 25, 2004 (10:55 am)
I'm like Daysailer. I'll buy the vehicle that meets my criteria whether it's a hybrid or not. However, I'm guessing that most ICE designs in the next few years won't match the hybrids for both economy and emissions at the same time. And the "type" of hybrid doesn't mean squat. If an assist type can do the job of a full hybrid, then I'm all for it.
As for the vehicle class, I expect my next purchases will be a compact and a mid-size utility vehicle.
Mar 25, 2004 (11:16 am)
smaller cars - usual sporty models and mainly coupes and hatchbacks. I would, however, prioritize a hybrid, even at a 5-10% price premium over the gas counterpart. But as of yet I have not seen any plans by any carmaker to bring a sporty car to the hybrid table. There have been several interesting concepts, though, including the Eclipse currently making the rounds, the Volta from Toyota, and that B-something-or-other from Subaru. Any of those that can come in around $25K in current dollars would be on my short list. The Subaru would need a hardtop version, though...do I have any other wishes? No, that is it for now!