Hybrid Evolution at Toyota
S. Daniel Ackerman, our Guest Blogger, is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. You can contact him with love or hate mail (or car or bicycle chat) at sdaniel_ackerman [at ] yahoo.com. He has interesting news in the world of motors to share with the readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com. Here's his article:
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Hybrid engines are one of most exciting and innovative technologies available for improving the fuel economy of every type of machine from heavy trucks (see my entry on hybrid Chrysler Hemi engines posted here to tiny econoboxes. Gasoline electric hybrids have been available for several years in economy cars, most notably Japanese entry level cars, but recently, they have begun to pop up in a wide variety of vehicles.
Just witness Toyota's recently announced FT-HS, the Japanese automaker's first reentry into the Grand Touring class of sports car since they discontinued the Supra. The concept has been making the rounds of the mid-season auto shows, and the FT-HS has been slated to go into production for the 2009 model year. While the details remain undisclosed, it is known that the car will feature Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive mated to a gasoline engine that is rumored to produce 400 hp.
Could the Toyota FT-HS be the vehicle that brings the hybrid engine to the tuner market? This innovative pairing of a hybrid powertrain to an affordable (potentially) sports car could bring alternative methods of powering daily drivers to a young generation, one that wants performance. The best part of all of this? Millions of amateur mechanics working on their cars have historically come up with some pretty innovative methods of tweaking their cars. Come 2009, we should begin seeing a new generation taking factory gasoline hybrid engines and developing them in ways we cannot even begin to imagine.
S. Daniel Ackerman