Toyota’s Plans for Compact Hybrid, Honda Shows Production CR-Z Hybrid

toyota-ft-ch-hybridWhenever a new hybrid vehicle is introduced, it is invariably compared to Toyota’s hugely successful Prius. The Prius, which is currently its third generation, has been a big sales hit for Toyota and has put the Japanese auto giant at the forefront of the “green” auto movement.

Now that Toyota has the Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid under its belt (along with a few hybrids from its upscale Lexus division), the company is looking to put its hybrid system into a vehicle smaller than the Prius. Toyota plans to tackle the compact sector with the FT-CH concept.

The Prius, which is classified as a midsize vehicle, is 22 inches longer than Toyota’s new FT-CH. Not many details are available on the new hybrid other than the fact that it will be priced below the Prius. It’s more than likely that this concept will make it to production, but Toyota is keeping mum for now.

toyota-ft-ch-concept“A century after the invention of the automobile, we must re-invent it with powertrains that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of conventional petroleum fuels,” said Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz. “One of many alternatives is through what is commonly called the electrification of the automobile. By far, the single most successful example of this has been the gas-electric hybrid.”

Another new hybrid making news today is the Honda CR-Z hybrid. The vehicle has already been profiled numerous times on DailyTech, but Honda today is revealing production specifications for the vehicle. The nearly 2,700-pound vehicle makes use of a 122 hp / 128 lb-ft gasoline engine paired with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. The vehicle will be rated at 31/37 mpg with a manual transmission and 36/38 mpg with an continuously variable transmission (CVT).

honda_cr-z_f34_10-de-asIt’s admirable that Honda wants to appeal to enthusiasts with a 6-speed manual on the CR-Z, but it’s a crying shame that choosing to row your own gears results in such a dramatic cut to city mileage.

For comparison, the larger Honda Insight is rated at 41 mpg combined, while the even larger Prius is rated at 50 mpg combined.

According to Edmunds Inside Line, the CR-Z will go on sale this August.


Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.