Mazda's chosen Detroit to pull the cover off its all-new 2008 Tribute Hybrid SUV. The greenified version of the Japanese automaker's Ford Escape clone receives a unique front fascia, but once you get past that, if you've seen the new Escape, you've seen the Tribute. That's not a bad thing, because the butchier look adopted by the Escape is pretty easy on the eye, and in this case, it belies the eco-friendly powertrain the Tribute Hybrid sports under its skin.
The Tribute's 2.3-liter four cylinder uses Atkinson-cycle combustion and is good for 133 horsepower on its own. It's joined by a 70-kilowatt electric motor (equivalent to around 94 horsepower), which will power the car unassisted at speeds up to 25 mph. Above that, the ICE engages and teams with the electric motor to provide sprightly performance while garnering a super-clean AT-PZEV emissions rating. An electronic CVT ensures the optimal gear ratio is always in use, and hybrid features you'd expect to find, such as regenerative braking and a stop-start system, are put to use here.
Finally, the new Tribute Hybrid is available in two trim levels and with both two- and four-wheel-drive. AutoblogGreen has comprehensive analysis and info. Click the image above for a high-resolution photo gallery.
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