Print 21 comment(s) - last by sleepeeg3.. on Jul 25 at 8:38 AM

Each automaker will go their own way with hybrid truck development

Toyota and Ford have been working together for the past two years to develop a hybrid system that can be used in full-size pickup trucks. However, the two automakers announced today that they are parting ways with Ford saying that it plans to launch its own hybrid system for trucks later in this decade.
Considering the blows Ford has taken recently with its hybrid vehicles not making the grade in real-world fuel economy, you might think they would want help from Toyota, the current hybrid technology leader.

Toyota A-BAT Hybrid pickup concept from 2007

"After successfully completing the feasibility and development of the hybrid system project with Toyota, Ford is moving forward on its own with development of a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system for Ford pickups and SUVs," Ford said in a statement.

Toyota also issued a statement saying in part, "We have agreed to develop hybrid systems individually."

Toyota and Ford did leave the door open for collaboration on other projects. Specifically, the two companies are considering another joint effort to develop infotainment systems and other telematics projects. Ford could certainly use some help with its infotainment systems as they are often pointed to as the reason the automaker has seen a decline in customer satisfaction

Sources: Detroit News, USA Today

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New designs...
By retrospooty on 7/24/2013 9:16:47 AM , Rating: 4
Is it me, or do the newer Japanese designs with the body moldings raised way up look like an old man with his pants around his chest?

That and it makes the Window height really small, lowering visibility and making it really hard to get a bucket of chicken through it at the drive through.

RE: New designs...
By Spuke on 7/24/2013 9:32:23 AM , Rating: 3
Ah, the ole bucket of chicken window test.

RE: New designs...
By retrospooty on 7/24/2013 9:57:40 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly... Can I fit a bucket of chicken through the window without having to open the door? If no, then get off my lawn!

RE: New designs...
By Spuke on 7/24/2013 12:13:27 PM , Rating: 2

RE: New designs...
By jmarchel on 7/24/2013 10:30:03 AM , Rating: 3
Get used to it. Window glass is heavier than car body steel sheet. Smaller windows in vehicles means lighter vehicles. With future CAFE standards all automakers will start shrinking windows to save mass.

RE: New designs...
By BillyBatson on 7/24/2013 2:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. My 2013 fusion has small windows and a really small rear window for the size of the car. Good thing I don't drive backwards or it might actually matter.

RE: New designs...
By Spuke on 7/24/2013 2:51:35 PM , Rating: 3
Good thing I don't drive backwards or it might actually matter.
"What's behind me, it's not important."

RE: New designs...
By Schrag4 on 7/24/2013 11:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
Form over function. The "bucket of chicken" issue is pretty minor compared to the "cannot fit anything in the bed" issue, or potentially the "does not have enough power" issue. Is this thing a pickup or not? Why buy a pickup if you can't haul anything in/with it? A minivan would be a better choice to haul a dimensionally large payload than that thing pictured in the article.

RE: New designs...
By Schrag4 on 7/24/2013 11:21:38 AM , Rating: 3
I'll go a step further. I bet my family sedan has just as much cargo capacity as that thing. It's not only ugly but it's relatively useless as well.

RE: New designs...
By M'n'M on 7/24/2013 12:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's a concept from 2007. I suspect the newer concept is even uglier. But concepts rarely make it into production and so the hybrid F-150 will be ugly in a wholly different way.

As for hybrid trucks ... the electric motor could be a real asset, providing torque at low RPMs and filling in when going up hills. As usual the question is one of cost, will it be worth the extra $$ ?

The answer to that has been no. GM dropped it's hybrid trucks, introduced in 2009, late last year. Cited was poor sales due to the added cost. Alas the present administration has decreed costs are no problem and so I expect hybrids to return and be foisted upon the public.

And be ugly too.

RE: New designs...
By inperfectdarkness on 7/24/2013 12:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good point! Maybe that's why the partnership with Ford failed. They should have gone for GM. Have you seen the CTS coupe?

RE: New designs...
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/24/2013 2:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Its not just newer Japanese designs, but it is getting common in American designs as well. I've been noticing the high beltline being pretty common lately.

Personally I hate it since it gives me the 'driving a tin can' feeling. I like to rest my elbow on the door sill when I drive and with the high beltline my arm ends up in a really uncomfortable angle.

RE: New designs...
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/24/2013 2:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
Can you get a bucket of chicken thru a new Camaro's window? I swear the outward visibility in those suck.

RE: New designs...
By BillyBatson on 7/24/2013 2:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, I prefer this "high-water pants" look. Much neater, more attractive, less likely to scrape against the the ground, and might even be more aerodynamic. I really hope it continues.

maybe in 10 years
By AssBall on 7/24/2013 12:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
When a hybrid truck is:

-More reliable
-More capable/practical

Than a diesel, without subsidy mind you, I will care.

After gas prices and engine emissions are artificially dictated by enough mandatory regulations it will drive the cost of a decent pickup up substantially. Only then technology will then be efficient fiscally. That's how green technology works.

RE: maybe in 10 years
By grooves21 on 7/24/2013 12:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
So, you'll pay more for a vehicle because you don't believe in government subsidies?

RE: maybe in 10 years
By sleepeeg3 on 7/25/2013 8:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
Subsidies are nothing to be "believed" in. Those subsidies have to be paid from your wallet eventually. If not directly at the dealer then through taxes.

A better idea...
By domboy on 7/24/2013 12:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
How about bringing over the trucks the rest of the world gets - Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, VM Amarok, etc. These are all mid-sized trucks (think the US Toyota Tacoma) that you can buy with a very nice diesel engine. I'd buy any of those with manual transmission and that for me would be the perfect truck. It's maddening that you can buy these just south of us (Mexico) but not here.

For those that want bigger, put a diesel in the 1/2 tons! I think I heard Dodge is finally getting ready to do that...

RE: A better idea...
By Myrandex on 7/24/2013 1:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ford was going to in the past. They were going to put a Volvo designed Diesel Engine into the F150, but then switched to EcoBoost instead. And at the pricing that Diesel has had lately, I don't know if I would consider it. I would have to compute some numbers to see if it would be worth it compared to gas prices.


RE: A better idea...
By Spuke on 7/24/2013 1:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
How about bringing over the trucks the rest of the world gets - Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, VM Amarok, etc.
None of those meet US safety and emissions standards. That's why they're not here. Dodge's 1/2 diesel starts production in Sept this year. Supposed to be ~$2850 more than the Hemi.

Decline in customer satisfaction?
By sleepeeg3 on 7/25/2013 8:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ford just blew past analysts' estimates with 15% year-over-year growth from increased sales, so some customers must be satisfied...

As for their infotainment systems, their SYNC system designed by Microsoft is pretty rocking. Bluetooth audio and voice commands at the touch of a button. It could use some improvements (microphone, audio connect), but mainly I just wish they had a touchscreen option in the Mustang.

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