Make Vrooom For The Hybrids

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by nycflasher, May 19, 2004.

  1. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Gas prices got you down? How automakers plan to tempt you with a new fleet of fuel-stingy vehicles
    By DAREN FONDA
    Monday, May. 17, 2004



    One of the bewildering questions in the auto industry is how high gas prices would have to climb before Americans dump their gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars. The issue comes to a head every time prices spike at the pump, whether because of turmoil in the Middle East, a lack of refinery capacity or old-fashioned opportunism in anticipation of a surge in demand. That's the scene now, with oil futures hitting record levels and gas prices averaging nearly $2 per gal. nationwide just as the summer driving season kicks off. If you just spent $75 to fill up your Chevy Suburban, you might even be one of those folks swearing they're gonna dump the hog for more of a fuel sipper.

    If so, you're in luck. A fleet of fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel models is arriving at dealerships over the next few months — and they aren't your typical tin-box green machines. Automakers are delivering what seemed unthinkable just a few years ago — midsize cars and SUVs with the horsepower, performance and size that Americans expect, plus improved fuel economy. Hybrid cars are propelled by a combination of a gas engine and an electric motor — a complicated technology that still draws blank stares, even though hybrids have been on the market for nearly five years. The latest versions, however, might be summed up by Ford's motto for its first hybrid SUV, an Escape, due in August: "No Compromise" (see review).

    Ford's rivals are sending similar signals. Chrysler is coming out with a diesel Jeep Liberty this summer, equipped with a four-cylinder 2.8-liter engine that the company claims will perform like a V6, with a 25% improvement in fuel economy (it will be sold in only 45 states because of antismog restrictions on diesel passenger vehicles). Lexus plans to deliver a hybrid version of its luxury RX330 SUV, the 400h, this fall. And Honda says by year's end it will sell a hybrid edition of its V6 Accord that will outperform the standard version in fuel economy and pickup. "We want to sell it on the basis of advanced technology and performance," says Honda spokesman Andy Boyd. That's a novel pitch for a hybrid. Only two years ago, such cars were small and underpowered and, with their oddball designs, seemed destined to appeal mainly to environmentalists, technology buffs and Hollywood stars, who won p.r. points for driving them....
    source
     
  2. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    I'm torn. I hate our dependence on oil but I love fat V-8.
     
  3. fuzzykitten99
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    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

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    this is the same thing that everyone went through in the 70s and 80s. I think that this is temporary. Muscle cars were the big thing in those times, then the gas crisis hit, and even the muscle cars turned into pussy-mobiles. They took the Monte Carlo, Impala, and the Mustang (though they are finally recouperating) and made them wimpy, to keep their sales up during these times. There are other cars that have been pussified, but I don't feel like typing that much.

    Those who have SUVs are not allowed to complain because they were FULL aware of the gas mileage they would get when they bought the things. My hubby and I decided to downgrade from our 97 Chevy 3/4 ton (15mpg hwy) to the 00 Impala for practicality. It's hard to put an infant seat in the back seat of a truck. If we had not had Nathan, we would still own the truck, but just having to use my car more for around town. SUV owners have to pay to play. It's the rules of the game.
     
  4. NewGuy
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    NewGuy Guest

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