Now I can get excited about hybrid cars. The industry is finally thinking about the people that don’t want to sacrifice performance for gas mileage. The Japanese as always it seems are leading the way in this new segment of the hybrid industry working on cars that feature lithium batteries and electric motors. Incredible as it may seem there is a report that there is at least one sports car under development that is capable of producing 470 horsepower!
Hydrogen fueled cars are also being developed as well and it seems that Mazda is putting a lot of research into this segment using its rotary engine. Mazda has been working on being able to produce a hydrogen burning car for years and hopefully they will be able to do it without giving up performance.
The hybrid that seems to have the most promise currently is from the Japanese automaker giant, Toyota. Their Priapus is a normal gas-electric hybrid that is capable of accelerating from zero to sixty in under 4 seconds which seems to be the equivalent of the 4 minute mile for performance cars. The car also still maintains decent fuel economy getting over thirty miles to the gallon. The 70k price tag will make it less than affordable for most and it will be tough to make up for it in gas savings. Personally for another 10k I would have to buy the new totally electric car coming out next summer from the new Tesla Motors that will give you a real opportunity to recoup the investment.
The hybrid industry isn’t being dominated by just the Japanese; a couple of former designers from Jaguar are working on a V10 version of the hybrid that has even received grants from the government in England to help them bring the car to production.
Nations all over the world are instituting higher standards for fuel efficiency to try to force automakers into making cars with better fuel economy. With gas prices continuing to rise and the ever present instability in the Middle East you can expect to see more attention to be paid to hybrid research as well as other alternatives. On top of all of the savings we will begin to see some of the negative effects that gas burning cars have done to the economy.
With the recent trend to offer sports cars from the hybrid camps and the newly unveiled Tesla concept car being built by 2007 all fears that sports cars were headed the way of the designer are disappearing. We will see high performance sports cars that will offer the best performance imaginable along with great fuel economy or not using gas at all!