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Toyota, Lexus, Hybrid Cars, Sedan
#6 of 35 I think the IS would be a good candidate for Hybrid power
Apr 21, 2007 (8:02 am)
Get rid of the underpowered 250, with the small V6, and turn it into a Hybrid, something along the power lines of the RX400h, and make manual transmission available on the 350.
Everyone would have something to like, economy, sportiness, luxury.
The only problem is the trunk and rear of the car are undersized already. Not much room for batteries thur.
Apr 21, 2007 (8:27 am)
How about a hybrid minivan next. It would be the first, and families would be interested. The SUV is just not an efficient package compared to a minivan.
Part of the huge success of the new Prius is that it finally became a hatchback - much more efficinet than a sedan. People looking for efficiency in mpg are also interested in efficiency of space. The two go hand in hand.
The Toyota and Lexus SUV hybrids get worse mpg than the minivans and offer less space. Where is the efficiency?
#8 of 35 Re: - [dudleyr]
Apr 21, 2007 (8:55 am)
Toyota has had a hybrid mini-van in Japan for a quite a while. Not sure why it has not made it here.
#9 of 35 Not a bad idea
Apr 21, 2007 (8:57 am)
But minivans market share continues to drop, and many makers are leaving the market altogther.
It's hard to add several hundred pounds of batteries to a vehicle already 2 tons, and then expect good fuel economy.
I don't think anything over Camry size should be considered, unless it's an SUV/CUV, because people don't expect great economy from them, so anything in the 20's is considered worthwhile.
Apr 21, 2007 (12:56 pm)
The powertrain right out of the highlander hybrid would do more than fine in the Sienna, after all it has even more power. I can push 30 mpg in my Sienna on occasion if I drive carefully. The hybrid would be better still.
I would even consider the Sienna with the 4-cyl hybrid system from the current Camry. It would probably be just as peppy as a Prius. People don't buy hybrids to race.
The SUV has too much of a guzzling stigma to really have mass hybrid appeal.
The only minivans leaving the market are the bad ones. Toyota, Honda, and even Chrysler sell plenty. Maybe a nice shot in the arm like an inovative drivetrain would pick things up. I would take a diesel minivan as well.
#11 of 35 Listen to the marketplace
Apr 21, 2007 (2:21 pm)
Sales are a form of feedback. And the sales numbers tell us clearly that people want fuel economy form the hybrids, and are not interested in performance. As a result, the Prius and Camry can sell in large numbers, but when it comes to the GS, RX, and upcoming LS, forget about it. Even the Highlander hybrid did not do quite as well as expected for two reasons. One... it was priced WAY too high in comparison to the regular ICE, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it made little economic sense. And two... the Highlander hybrid suffers from a nasty crunching sound in the drivetrain when braking to a complete stop that the Prius does not suffer from. Who wants THAT every time the vehicle comes to a complete stop?
The Honda Civic hybrid sales success only reinforces the fact that the marketplace wants hybrids to increase fuel efficiency. It's as simple as that. Whichever models Toyota decides to put their hybrid synergy drive system into, all they really need to do is make sure it delivers much better fuel economy than the standard ICE. It's not much more complicated than that.
BTW, Doc, good idea for the forum.
#12 of 35 Re: - [dudleyr]
Apr 21, 2007 (2:26 pm)
A good hybrid minivan makes sense. The Honda Fit is an indication that it could work. While much smaller, it still indicates that people will accept that type of bodystyle for good fuel efficiency. And, whether or not the minivan is losing market share, minivans still sell in large numbers because of their versatility. A hybrid system in one of those would work well, because there is enough space in those minivans to accomodate batteries without sacrificing too much storage.
So, I agree with you on this.
#13 of 35 Oh, Toyota will build one for the redesigned Sienna
Apr 21, 2007 (3:53 pm)
Most of their lineup will offer Hybrid options.
I'm just sayin' it may not work in every application. It does have limits.
I believe the lighter the vehicle, the more effective the Hybrid can be.
#14 of 35 Re: Oh, Toyota will build one for the redesigned Sienna [drfill]
Apr 21, 2007 (8:06 pm)
I don't think it took Honda as long to figure out that the hybrid system was not practical for all size vehicles. They are going to offer a diesel option in the heavier vehicles to get the mileage up. I think with Accord hybrid sales almost down to nothing this may be its last year. Toyota made big claims for the HSD system being able to fit any platform. I wonder how much of that was eco sales talk? Toyota claimed they would have the Sienna out by now with hybrid. That was posted back in March 2005. So I would say they may be pulling back on some of the hybrid models.
#15 of 35 Re: Oh, Toyota will build one for the redesigned Sienna [gagrice]
Apr 21, 2007 (10:09 pm)
I would say they may be pulling back on some of the hybrid models.
Maybe, but I tend to doubt it. Toyota made a public pledge a number of years ago. They pledged to offer a hybrid version of EVERY vehicle they sell within ten years (of the date of the announcement). They seem to be living up to their promise, and they are learning as they go forward.