Hybrid diesel trucks with no transmissions in our future?

More powerful than a locomotive? That's what the folks over at Diesel Power are predicting for the future of trucks. Cars and trucks have become more powerful over the years, with today's torque figures dwarfing the 420 ft.-lbs. of torque figures commonly seen in trucks in the mid-1990s. While many factory numbers hit above 500 ft.-lbs. and aftermarket parts can launch drivers above 1,000 ft.-lbs., we have to be nearing the threshold of how big and bulky the transmissions can get and still be efficient, right?

Here's where Diesel Power caught our interest -- a hybrid-electric diesel, except not the kind you're probably thinking of. Something a little more conventional, just not in the automotive world. The idea is that the diesel engine will power an electric motor on each wheel, putting out close to 2,000 lb.-ft. at 0 rpm. Like a locomotive engine, the diesel engine would run at a near-constant speed -- circumstances that run the engine at its most efficient. It may not be technology that will hit the streets anytime soon, but it's certainly something to watch out for.

[via Diesel Power]

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