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Subaru Hybrid engine?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 rcoaster

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:21 PM

Recently, I found out that Toyota is releasing the Highlander with a gas/electric hybrid engine. This might be the only AWD SUV with an hybrid engine. With the rising cost of gasoline, this SUV is starting to get my interest. While I love my Subaru, MPG is the only negative factor.

Is Subaru coming out with a car with an hybrid engine? The Toyota Highlander has a combined power of 270 HP. They haven't released the MPG figures, but they claim that the Highlander can go up to 600 miles on a single tank of gas.

If Subaru did come out with an Outback with an hybrid engine, the Highlander wouldn't even be on my list for my next car! Heck, only the Subaru will be on my list.

-RC!

#2 cookie

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:51 PM

Toyota and Mercedes Fuel cell hybrids on Weds. A bit slow off the line but driveable.
Hybrids are in your near future.

#3 bretgem

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:38 PM

I understand that Ford will have their hybrid Escape SUV out soon.

#4 applegump

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 01:55 PM

Lexus has a hybrid SUV in Europe. Toyota and Honda also have hybrids in car form.

I also hope Subaru makes a hybrid available.

#5 hammer008

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 08:46 PM

Originally posted by applegump
Lexus has a hybrid SUV in Europe. Toyota and Honda also have hybrids in car form.

I also hope Subaru makes a hybrid available.



I also hope Subaru can a produce diesel too.

#6 Dr. RX

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 10:35 PM

Subaru's hybred car is the B9 convertable.

#7 Sconnyite

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 01:20 AM

You gotta wonder what the heck Subaru is thinking when their first swipe at the hybrid market is a "sports car" instead of something the rest of us would drive. Even the WRX has a practical side. Hybrids are slower than a comparable gas engine for the moment, so why would you mate something like that up to a roadster? Do people who buy those things even care about MPG? Hey SUBARU, REMEMBER THE SVX?! Come on!

#8 smalcom

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 06:55 PM

Lexus RX400h due as a 2005 model. according to Lexus, the car will have more horsepower than the RX330, and it will have a gasoline engine and two electric motors. If I remember correctly, the car will be a mostly FWD car, and the electric motors somehow create the AWD. Don't know much more.

#9 Syrinx

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 08:49 PM

Ford bought rights to use the Toyota Hybrid system. it's not a "new" system...

Kurt

#10 Dr. RX

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 10:29 PM

Sconnyite, we must be in two separate worlds, I don't see anything wrong with the SVX, I'm surprized that Subaru discontinued it. But I really don't like the B9.

#11 Sconnyite

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 11:29 PM

Dr.,

My comment about the SVX was probably out of line, seeing how I've never driven one, much less owned one. However, I'd probably have to be wealthy enough own about five cars before I 'd own a two-door sports car with a teenie back seat.



I'm just saying Subaru should be thinking about bringing hybrid technology to its customer base, rather than the relatively few who would buy B9.

#12 cookie

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:01 AM

since SUVs are popular with Americans both cars I tested the other day were in SUV form.

#13 BradSA138

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 08:18 PM

the B9 is alright-- BUT I am not a SUV fan at all.

I wonder why subaru is trying to enter that market so late...
answer me this and I will show TWO skylines who don't streetrace!

#14 Dr. RX

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 06:36 AM

the B9 is alright-- BUT I am not a SUV fan at all.

I wonder why subaru is trying to enter that market so late...
answer me this and I will show TWO skylines who don't streetrace!

Brad, the B9 that I was talking about was a prototype that was show circuit either last year or the year before. It was a convertable, 2 door, not the SUV that now bears the name B9.

#15 NOMAD327

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 06:54 AM

The B9SC was a concept car that toured the show circuit in 2004. It introduced the “new” look of Subaru to the world, which to me, didn’t look bad on a small sports car body. I hate the Tribeca’s exterior, but you can figure out whether you like it or not for yourself. The point I want to make, is that Hybrids are a terrible investment. There is no real value present, and you will never get your money back. If you arrange to be buried in your Hybrid, and save money on a casket, you will still not get your money back. People buy them because it’s a way to feel smug about themselves, and possibly because they want to pay hundreds a month on a payment, to avoid weekly expense of tens of dollars out of wallet at the pump. They will never be a good used car purchase either, because of the battery. The original owner has a warranty on the battery, so no one knows what a Nickel Metal Hydride battery the size of a briefcase costs, but I am guessing well over a thousand dollars. The one possible application that might make sense would be to use electric on one end and gas engine on the other to give AWD without the extra mechanical parts. At least some of the mechanical complexity would be compensated for. The New Lexus RX400h does this, in part, but more for horsepower, than for economy. At nearly a $10,000 dollar premium, you will not get your money back on an RX400h either. Hybrid vehicles give a huge public relations benefit to Toyota, and to their credit they did the work to be in this position, but the entire industry is now going to have to follow up on a damaged engineering concept to keep up.

#16 jimscat

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 07:18 AM

Hybrids are a thing of the near future, wether it be gas / electric, hydrogen, or some other type. Yes they currently dont have much of a resale and the batteries are expensive to replace, but just like everything else, once there is enough out there the price will drop.

#17 bjwirth

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 08:30 AM

The point I want to make, is that Hybrids are a terrible investment. There is no real value present, and you will never get your money back.

but the entire industry is now going to have to follow up on a damaged engineering concept to keep up.

I will agree with you that 99+% of hybrid buyers will not recoup their money over the purchase of a similar gas car. I'd also like to add that most cars are terrible investments as well.

But for some, that's not what its about. Right now hybrid technology is in its infancy if you look at it from a "mainstream" angle. And of course when any new technology is introduced, the early adopters pay a lot for it. But this doesn't mean hybrids are a "damaged engineering concept." In fact it's because of these early adopters that perhaps one day the cost of hybrids will come down.(remember when buying an entry level PC was $3000 during the 80's? that technology must have been damaged)

Would you say that hybrids are flawed if you could buy a forester "XH" for $1000 more and while still maintaining the same 10-15 yr warrenty for the battery, a replacement was only $200?

There are a lot of naysayers who criticize hybrid technology because of its upfront cost and fear of potential costs. Cost is a valid concern for consumers and their decision to buy, but let's evaluate the technology on its merit.

#18 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 09:31 AM

I will agree with you that 99+% of hybrid buyers will not recoup their money over the purchase of a similar gas car. I'd also like to add that most cars are terrible investments as well.

But for some, that's not what its about. Right now hybrid technology is in its infancy if you look at it from a "mainstream" angle. And of course when any new technology is introduced, the early adopters pay a lot for it. But this doesn't mean hybrids are a "damaged engineering concept." In fact it's because of these early adopters that perhaps one day the cost of hybrids will come down.(remember when buying an entry level PC was $3000 during the 80's? that technology must have been damaged)

Would you say that hybrids are flawed if you could buy a forester "XH" for $1000 more and while still maintaining the same 10-15 yr warrenty for the battery, a replacement was only $200?

There are a lot of naysayers who criticize hybrid technology because of its upfront cost and fear of potential costs. Cost is a valid concern for consumers and their decision to buy, but let's evaluate the technology on its merit.


I agree.
When they have regenerative braking and can be 'topped up' plugged into the garage outlet overnight, the will impress me more.
Hybrids have probably the best future of all 'alternative' systems because they use the existing infrastructure.

#19 friendly_jacek

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 12:59 PM

I agree with the poster above that hybrid technology is good and will be improved soon.

[font="]Personally, I am impressed by the plug-in hybrid concept. The solution of electric engines driving rear wheels for “hybrid AWD” is also neat.

The issue that bothers me a lot is the fact that Subaru made a decision to go after high end, premium car market and abandoned its roots: affordable, reliable, environmentally sound car.

Subaru is entering the large SUV craze in the wrong time, and lack of hybrid to improve the image does’t help either.[/font]

#20 bjwirth

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 03:15 PM

I've read about hacked priuses which let you plugin overnight and let you get astronomical MPG numbers. But we should also look at 'well to wheel' efficiency which takes into consideration the efficiency of the refining process of crude or the efficiency of burning coal to produce electricity in addition to the efficiency of the car itself.

The average car has a well to wheel efficiency of 19%. electric plugins have an efficiency of 21%, while hybrids have 32%. we can see that the electric only cars are more efficient overall compared to gas cars, but eclipsed by hybrids. If we can (wrongly) extrapolate these trends, adding a plugin to a hybrid would only add a marginal level of overall efficiency.

#21 PopsicleMud

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 04:35 PM

Part of the appeal of electric vehicles or hybrids that you can plug in is the ability to produce clean power, either by using something other than oil/coal fired plants or by adding equipment to oil/coal fired plants to clean up their emissions.

Another advantage of electrics and plug-in hybrids is the ability to use alternative energy sources that aren't practical to produce in a vehicle, such as solar, wind, and good old hydroelectric plants.

The third advantage I can see for electrics and plug-in hybrids is economic. Even in areas that exclusively use coal and oil fired power plants, it's cheaper to distribute electricity than fuel. You may not get much more power per gallon of oil used, but the price to the consumer is lower.

#22 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 05:48 PM

I've read about hacked priuses which let you plugin overnight and let you get astronomical MPG numbers. But we should also look at 'well to wheel' efficiency which takes into consideration the efficiency of the refining process of crude or the efficiency of burning coal to produce electricity in addition to the efficiency of the car itself.

The average car has a well to wheel efficiency of 19%. electric plugins have an efficiency of 21%, while hybrids have 32%. we can see that the electric only cars are more efficient overall compared to gas cars, but eclipsed by hybrids. If we can (wrongly) extrapolate these trends, adding a plugin to a hybrid would only add a marginal level of overall efficiency.


good point
I assume those numbers include enviro issues with mining and disposing of the cadmium,lead whatever is in the batteries?

Carl

#23 benebob

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 06:05 PM

Dr.,

My comment about the SVX was probably out of line, seeing how I've never driven one, much less owned one. However, I'd probably have to be wealthy enough own about five cars before I 'd own a two-door sports car with a teenie back seat.


Very much out of line. When I bought my SVX I climbed in the back (with a compound fractured ankle and my 6'1" frame. I was able to sit back there with a decent amount of head room, enough leg room to sit there for about 20 minutes provided the drive was 5'8" or less. Why don't you try that in every other Coupe out there (including the Accord and Solara). You'll be munching on those words. Practical?? Probably not for a family of 4 but I've had 4 adults in it going to breakfast and the like. I don't have much need for a backseat. If I do, I have no problems taking another car.

As for all you hybrid fans. Sure it is a great concept BUT here are the facts. Research it if you don't believe me but it is all true.

I'll use the Prius as the example.
1. You would have to drive 150k in the city (of course not on hot days either otherwise you'll be running that AC) to even out the cost savings from buying it rather than a Toyota Echo (which is nearly as large in every catagory except rear seat width and cargo area). Assuming you can go that far in a city w/o the ac in less than 10 years time your batteries should make it and not have to be recycled, if not then you'll have to go to about 270k to reach the same cost (assuming batteries cost what Toyota predicts they will in 10 years).

2. The polution in manufacture and disposal of the added batteries is equal to that of another .3 cars being manufactured (1st set of batteries that is).

3. The added weight of the vehicle (about 300lbs) translates into more road damage over the life of the vehicle so it results in more oil being needed in the replacement and maintainance of roads.

4. Your safer in that toy Echo due to added velocity, poorer braking and poorer handling.

Don't get me wrong, it is at least a step in the right direction, but from an enviromental standpoint and financial standpoint the car makers and oil companies are laughing their way to the bank all while convincing you your helping the problem not insisting that true alternative sources be found.




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