'Performance Hybrid' Designation Fading from Usage

Environmentalists have reservations about Lexus' ecological message, believing that making the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles possible should trump the hype about being ecological.

Published: 26-Dec-2007

Automakers are starting to turn away from the notion of the "performance hybrid," the term coined to market gas-electric vehicles based on extra pep instead of fuel thriftiness.

Instead of just emphasizing performance, Toyota's (TM) luxury Lexus division plans to hawk its high-end hybrid vehicles as being better for the environment because they pollute less than rival brands.

"That was always supposed to be part of the message, but it just hasn't come through," says Mark Templin, the division's new general manager. "It legitimizes what we have been doing."


This two-plus-two concept is a hybrid front-engine, rear-drive sports car with a projected zero-to-60 acceleration in the four-second range.

The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept is capable of zero fossil fuel CO 2 emissions while also enhancing performance and reducing energy consumption.

The hybrid version of the Malibu will have a belt alternator start system which enhances efficiency in stop-and-go driving by shutting off the engine at idle mode.


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