It has just been reported that, in about 18 months General Motors (GM) will possibly start selling a plug-in hybrid mid-size crossover SUV under their Buick entry-level luxury brand. Probably set to compete against hybrid-powered Lexus RX series of medium-sized luxury cars, the vehicle may become a serious weapon in the American brand’s fight against Japanese domination on the Chinese market. But, even if you happen to live in Shanghai with its air poisoned by millions of gas-powered cars, don’t hold your breath yet: lots of things can happen in eighteen months and the concept may be scrapped altogether.
SsangYong, the maker of extra-ugly cars and SUVs that has for years been torturing us with their bombastic, deliberately exaggerated (but in a bad, lack-of-good-taste exaggerated kind of way) vehicles that were seemingly designed for the Asian market, but still somehow managed to find their way to other regions, is going to drop a bomb on us. Possibly trying to impress prospective investors that may help the struggling company survive the ongoing economic turmoil, SsangYong plans to present a diesel-hybrid-powered version of its old Kyron mid-size SUV.
The 2010 VW Touareg Hybrid mid-size SUV equipped with a V6 TSI engine and a 52 hp electric motor will feature whopping 26mpg (9.05l/100km) fuel economy in the combined cycle, besting even the oil-sipping 2009 Touareg V6 TDI diesel-powered model that was first unveiled at the LA Auto Show last November. Currently existing only as a prototype, the vehicle will be shown in flesh either simultaneously or fairly soon after the second generation of the popular luxury off-roader will be officially revealed to the public.
Opel Ampera, the long-awaited plug-in hybrid vehicle motivated by GM’s Voltec technology currently employed in the Chevy Volt PHEV, will be officially unveiled at the 2009 international motor show in Geneva.
In a world where a “hybrid” car is often associated with ultra-compact, deliberately hideous hatchbacks with cheap interiors crafted from “green materials”, the upcoming Fisker Karma premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sports sedan looks like a breath of fresh air with its long, beautifully sculpted body, aggressive visual accents and futuristic interior. And, judging by all the press and positive initial reviews that I have seen so far, the Karma seems to be one of the most awaited performance vehicles featuring an alternative drive system. Of course, a new set of photos is always a welcome development.