Automakers losing interest in performance hybrids
The lackluster sales of the Honda Accord Hybrid, which was quasi-marketed as a pseudo-sports sedan, proved that the combination of "performance" and "hybrid" is too much of a stretch for the majority of consumers. While the Priusification of the species continues, with Honda confirming that it will be developing a direct competitor to Toyota's rolling fromage, it's worth mentioning that Toyota's own SARD racing team took the Tokachi 24-hour race this past July in a hybrid-equipped Supra. Not to mention ToMoCo's recent concepts, particularly the FT-HS, that sports a 3.5-liter V6 mounted to its Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
As Sam mentioned in his post over at AutoblogGreen, back in April, the SAE World Congress discussed the viability of performance hybrids, so the idea is still alive and well in the consciousness of the engineering community. Whether we'll see these performance-oriented offerings come to fruition is open to debate.
[Source: Detroit Free Press via AutoblogGreen]
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