• Dec 29, 2007
Well, that was short-lived. According to an article in the Freep, automakers are already beginning to disregard the idea of a hot hybrid, despite the benefits in fuel economy, emissions and performance.

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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  • 37 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Panoz used a hybrid in LeMans several years ago, the idea was to boost top speed on the straight. Obviously, it was never heard from again. However, that just goes to show how wrong the general perception of electric power is.
      If the car companies want to sell a hybrid performance car, just make it. Don't waste money on ad campaigns touting it's hybrid status, just sell it as a performance sedan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Honda Accord failed because it was neither high performance, nor a high mileage sedan. Add to that it was over-priced and it couldn't even be purchased with the convenience of a moonroof, it was doomed to failure. The failure of Honda for this vehicle speaks nothing against hybrids, but of their Honda's own marketing/engineering failure of this particular model.

        • 7 Years Ago
        With the Accord, because it had the "hybrid" badge, too many people tried to equate "high mileage" with Prius-like 60mpg. But that wasn't the point of the car... Honda had the Civic Hybrid for that. Nor was the Accord ever considered a sports car. The only reason it touted performance is because indeed it was the highest horsepower Accord ever built... simply a result of the electric motor attached to the normal V6. The point of the Accord hybrid was to offer a V6 for those consumers who demand a V6, but then to "surprise them" (if they paid a little more) by attaining the fuel economy of a 4cyl. It indeed was high mileage for a powerful V6. It was a win/win. Except that people demanded that hybrid = 60mpg, so that was the end of that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To all those against the hybrid sports car who keep droning on about increased weight and it slowing it down and blah blah blah. Consider this. Who cares what the top speed is, or who can get to 150 the fastest, what matters is off the line, at the stoplight, or on the freeway going 60 or 70 and wanting to punch it to 90 or 100 and be able to smoke everyone else on the road. Anyone who buys sports cars for their top speeds are stupid. When was the last time you got to cruise down a public highway at 170mph? I was in law enforcement for 6 years and I never saw anyone come close to that. You end up plowing into some granny going 10 under or flying off the road or a tire blows when you hit a rock. Give me a break.

      The FT-HS is an awesome idea, and to those who say it isn't please point me in the direction of another attainable exotic that does 0-60 times in the same range as Ferrari's or Lambos. The whole argument on here is a moot point anyways being as automakers will do what they want to do, I hope they make the FT-HS, I for one will buy one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      quasi marketing a pseudo anything is doomed to fail.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they could make a hybrid with say...400 hp and good MPG and at least STi/Evo performance...I would buy it for up to $45,000 or maybe a little more...

      I know that's asking a lot though
      • 7 Years Ago
      Most people look at hybrids 2 ways

      1. As an image car, "Look at me I'm green! ...even if I'm driving at 110mph and/or driving an empty hybrid Tahoe!"
      2. As a car that saves gas, as long as it doesn't cost too much because god forbid you make a bad investment on a car (as if you can make a good [appreciating] investment on a daily-use car) - since when can you ever save money (in absolute terms) when buying a car? Cars are a money pit whether the purchase price is $100 or $100,000, and whether the hybrid option can pay for itself or not.

      The Accord Hybrid was a good combination of performance and fuel economy, but it cost more than people were willing to pay for a Honda sedan (coming back to an image issue - it wasn't flaming green like a Prius, nor did it have the bling and reputation of a luxury car, nor did it have such amazing MPG to pay for itself). If they gave it unique (ugly) styling that said "I'm a hybrid" it may have sold more. If they made it an Acura (and didn't increase the price too much) it may have sold more. If they gave it 60MPG and lowered the performance and price it may have sold more.

      Acceptance in the market is determined by a combination of factors, so you can't throw cars into a "won't-sell" bucket because of one attribute. Lexus 600h sells (perhaps the buyers want a green image and/or just want a high-end Lexus). Tesla Roadster is selling (maybe the buyers want a fast (but low maintenance) exotic roadster).
        • 7 Years Ago
        And I say the Accord Hybrid was just Over Powered. First it has a V6 instead of a 4, and therefore was doomed to the extra weight of the V6, in the Frame, the suspension and the brakes. Then it had the additional weight of the hybrid system.

        All this extra weight all act against the benefits of the hybrid system.

        Then, there's the real world, at least here on the East Coast it's impossible to use the power of the 4 cyl Accord, so how could you justify the V6 accord? except as a cash machine in horsepower advertising for the horsepower wacko crowd.

        But, it turns out HYBIRD is not a Cash Machine unless it offers an efficiency benefit, not a performance benefit.


      • 7 Years Ago
      Hahahaha... stupid Automakers... haven't they realized that customers WANTS high MPG cars? How will they survive when their market ground is still plumbing to the rock-bottom and gas price going sky-rocket upward?

      If they could make gasoline-cars over 50mpg, I'd think about it..... while there are some cars with 50 to 200 mpg-in-electric-ratio anyway.





      .....stupid automakers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wasn't the point of the article that consumers did choose: Not to buy performance hybrids, which offer No Benefit over simply a Larger Gas Engine.

        If I want a hybrid Camry, I what a High MPG Camry, not a Race car hybrid camry I can pointlessly brag about.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, automakers are stupid. Thats why they sell 15 million vehicles in the United States alone. Damn they are soo dumb for being able to sell a product that is worth a median of 20k. DAMN THEM!

        Anyways, its the consumer's choice to buy higher mpg cars. Many people still decide not too. People still have priorities above mpg such as versatility, horsepower, and price.

        The main people who buy hybrids are people who want to make sure everyone knows it is a hybrid as a fashion statement. That in itself is stupid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the FT-HS is probably the best car i ever seen
      i want to buy when it hits the market
      so hurry up and make it
      • 7 Years Ago
      "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."

      Maybe, then maybe not it's still very early in this game and maybe, just maybe folks don't kie the pricing or lppks of the Accord. Ever think about that?

      Lackluster sales? Well, lets talk about the sales force selling the product, key word "sell" not take orders or know nothing about the product.

      "Thats why they sell 15 million vehicles in the United States alone. Damn they are soo dumb for being able to sell a product that is worth a median of 20k. DAMN THEM!

      Anyways, its the consumer's choice to buy higher mpg cars. Many people still decide not too. People still have priorities above mpg such as versatility, horsepower, and price."

      Refugee7 could not agree with that comment more.

      Some of this is consumer education, something most dealers are very poor about.


      • 7 Years Ago
      i acutally like the idea of the hybrid sport, especially the FT-HS. I am planning of buying one when it comes out, when ever the hell it is but the concept of hybrid and sport just kinda don't mix, maybe its the dawn of a new generation of sport, one that saves gas!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Didn't I read on this site a few weeks ago that the LS600h has greatly exceeded sales expectations (like doubled or tripled)? Since it is one of only two performance hybrids currently on sale (the GS450h being the other), I'd hardly think that a convincing case can be made for either side of this argument, particularly coming from the Free Press.

      The only disappointing performance hybrid model I can really point to is the Accord; all of Toyota's hybrids, performance-oriented or otherwise, are doing fine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        However, the savings in gasoline consumption of the LS600h is negligible in comparison the price. The fact remains that the LS600h would save a lot more fuel if it were equipped with an equivalent diesel. It is only the apparent resistance to diesels that have made hybrids a household word in the US. If you take a look at Europe you'll notice that hybrids are of no consequence because of the generally better fuel consumption of diesels.
      • 7 Years Ago

      So what happens to the Lexus LS600h?
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