Not all Hybrids are Created Equal
When gas prices hit an all-time high during the spring/summer of 2008, the popularity of – and chatter about – hybrid vehicles soared. 'Hybrid' became the buzz word as Americans looked for ways to cut costs while also being environmentally friendly.
But, not all hybrids are created equal. The basic concept of a hybrid vehicle is constant – a combination of two technologies, in this case a gasoline engine and electric motor—that work in tandem to power the vehicle. However, that's about where the similarities end.
Full hybrids-the most advanced
Hybrid powertrains differ in motor and engine combinations. The 'full hybrid' is generally the most advanced type and is the only system that can operate on electric or gasoline power, or a combination of the two. Full hybrids run on electric drive at low speeds, on gasoline and electric drive in traffic, and on gasoline alone at highway speeds. Computers automatically coordinate the electric motor and gasoline engine for an optimal balance of responsive performance, fuel economy and lower emissions.
What's more, with a full hybrid, the vehicle automatically shuts off the engine when coming to a stop and restarts the engine as needed when the vehicle begins to move forward again. This prevents wasted energy from idling and starting from a dead stop – two times when a vehicle's engine is the most inefficient.
A full hybrid recharges the hybrid battery during operation, so it doesn't need to be plugged in for recharging. The batteries also recover energy back from the drive train in a process called regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is a mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into a storable form of energy instead of dissipating it as heat as with a conventional brake. The captured energy is stored for future use.
The hybrid system found in the Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid, also known as Hybrid Synergy Drive, is a full hybrid system.Power-assist hybrids
The power-assist hybrid, sometimes called the 'mild hybrid,' relies on the gas engine to power the vehicle at all times. In this type of hybrid, the electric motor only assists the engine as needed for more power greater efficiency and lower emissions. Motors and batteries are less powerful than in full hybrids. The transmission can be automatic or manual, and is largely the same as in a conventional car. As with full hybrids, power-assist hybrids also have regenerative braking.
Toyota holds more than 1,000 patents pertaining to hybrid drive trains and shares hybrid technology, licensing cleaner vehicle technology to companies that request it. This approach will support the acceptance of all hybrid vehicles, and has the potential to make Hybrid Synergy Drive the most widely used hybrid standard in the industry.Source - Toyota
TOYOTA ANNOUNCES PRICES FOR 2010 CAMRY
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), Ú.S.A., Inc., announced manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) today for the 2010 Camry midsize sedan. (concept carz) As the best-selling passenger car in America for seven years running and 11 of the past 12 years, Camry continues to redefine standards for comfort and performance.
Camry's base MSRP will range from $19,395 for the Camry sedan with a new six-speed manual transmission to $29,045 for the stylish XLE with a six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The high mileage, low emissions Camry Hybrid carries a price of $26,150. The MSRP represent an overall increase of $281or 1.2 percent. The 2010 Camry will begin arriving at Toyota dealers in March 2009.CAMRY
The 2010 Camry standard, LE and XLE grades feature a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) producing 169 horsepower. The new engine can be combined with a six-speed manual transmission (excluding XLE) or a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. For sporty performance, the SE grade gets additional tuning and 179 horsepower, 21 more than the previous four-cylinder engine.
Fuel economy is improved as well with EPA fuel economy estimates of 33 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and 26 mpg combined for the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with the six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
A powerful 3.5-liter V6 delivering 268 horsepower and paired with a six –speed automatic transmission will continue to be available on the LE, SE and XLE grades. The 3.5-liter DOHC six-cylinder engine with dual VVT-i has EPA mpg estimates of 28 mpg highway, 19 mpg city and 23 mpg combined.
Exterior changes to the gas model Camry include a newly designed grille and front bumper, an enlarged lower intake, larger projector headlamps and restyled tail lamps. The Camry and LE grades feature restyled standard wheel covers. The XLE grade will run on new 16-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, while the SE grade adds new 17-inch sporty alloy wheels.
Inside, Camry and LE grades are available with an optional audio system equipped with a new ÚSB port for auxiliary music sources, Bluetooth®, integrated satellite radio, single-CD, and MP3 and Bluetooth® streaming music capability. Previously an option, all Camry gas models will now be equipped with Vehicle Stability Control with traction control. Auto up/down power windows with jam protection on all four doors is standard equipment.
The Camry Standard grade will carry a base MSRP of $19,395 for the manual transmission, while the automatic will be $20,445. The Camry LE base MSRP will range from $20,850 for the four-cylinder engine with manual transmission to $24,565 for the V6 model. The base MSRP for the Camry SE will range from $22,165 for four-cylinder models equipped with the manual transmission to $25,840 for the V6 model. The Camry XLE will carry a base MSRP of $29,045. CAMRY HYBRID
The Camry Hybrid, equipped with Toyota's industry-leading Hybrid Synergy Drive and certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) has EPA fuel economy estimates of 34 mpg highway, 33 mpg city and 34 mpg combined.
The Camry Hybrid exterior enhancements will include a unique hybrid grille, a distinct front bumper, a wider lower intake, restyled fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Camry Hybrid adds an enhanced meter cluster and Fraichir cloth seating surfaces, a combination of silk protein and synthetic fiber, which are gentle to the skin.
MSRPs do not include a delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $720. DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.Source - Toyota