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Two of the most exciting top dollar supercars displayed at the New York Auto show share DNA with your kitchen mixer and clothes dryer. It appears that the day of the gas powered hybrid hyper-performance car has come, with amazing examples from Porsche and BMW leading the charge.
With numbers that make you look twice, the Porsche 918 Spyder takes every hybrid preconception and pulverizes it. Powered by a 608 hp 4.6L gas powered engine, a 154 hp hybrid module on the rear axle and a 127 hp electric motor on the front axle, the 918 Spyder is capable of producing 887 combined horsepower and a jaw dropping 940 lb-ft of torque. Almost as amazing is that the car can go 18 miles on pure electricity and gets a government fuel economy rating of 67 miles per gallon equivalent in electric mode and 22 mpg in gas mode. Pricing for the two seater 918 Spyder begins at $847,975.
The mesmerizing aesthetics of BMW’s new i8 are only trumped by the car’s performance. By employing a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell, BMW was able to keep curb weight to 3,285 pounds while powering the car with 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph can be had in under 4.5 seconds. Given those numbers, BMW’s claim that the i8 will be able to get 95 miles per gallon is almost too good to be true. The i8 will be available in BMW dealerships later this year with a base price of $135,925.
For those interested in BMW’s new electric technology and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic but looking for something more practical and affordable, the manufacturer displayed the 2014 BMW i3 compact hatchback. Taking both the 2014 World Green Car and the 2014 World Car Design of The Year awards, it is obvious that the i3 made quite the impression.
The i3 is available as an all-electric plug-in. By using a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to energize the 170-horsepower, 184 lb-ft of torque electric motor mated with a single-speed transmission, the i3 is able to reach 60 miles per hour in seven seconds. Owners looking for better range can opt for an additional two-cylinder gasoline motor. Pricing starts at $41,350, $45,200 with the gasoline powered “range extender.” Keep in mind that the car qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit and the i3 may be something that you want to take a peek at.
Toyota launched the all-new for 2015 Camry, bringing an elevated level of style and refinement to the best selling sedan in the US. Every body panel but the roof has been redesigned and a sportier model, called the XSE, has been added to the line up. The new Camry shares some similar exterior styling cues from the Lexus sedans and the redesigned interior follows suit, using higher quality materials for almost every component.
The Camry’s powertrains appear to be carryover from the current model. Gasoline models will feature the 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine and conventional six-speed automatic transmissions. More important to our discussion is the Camry Hybrid powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and electronic continuously variable transmission. Pricing and performance numbers have yet to be released.
Toyota also displayed an eye-catching New York Yankees inspired 2014 Prius Plug-in. I am pretty sure the car was created exclusively for the show, but it you are a lucky die-hard Yankees fan looking to make a statement or a Red Sox fan with very deep pockets, this might be a great car to have some fun with!
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