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Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept

Toyota Hybrid-X Concept
Honda and Toyota step up their hybrids efforts

DailyTech reported earlier today that Lotus and Proton took an existing gasoline engine Proton Gen-2 sedan and converted into use a hybrid-electric powertrain. The resultant Lotus EVE achieves 28% greater fuel efficiency and C02 emissions that that are 22% lower than the Gen-2.

Now we have info on future hybrid designs from Honda and Toyota. The 2007 Geneva Auto Show is being used as a launching point to show the design direction that both companies are heading towards with future hybrid models.

Honda kicks things off with its sleek Small Hybrid Sports Concept (SHSC) which DailyTech first detailed back in February. The SHSC is based on a FWD platform and has a 4-cylinder engine paired with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid drive system and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Other features unique to the concept include a one-piece glass roof, "floating" LED tail light unit and 20" wheels. The SHSC measures 157" x 69" x 50" (L x W x H) and rides on a wheelbase of 92.5".

Next up is the Toyota Hybrid X concept, which also made its first appearance today. The concept points at the design direction that Toyota is looking to go with the next-generation Prius, which is due to be unveiled next year. The concept rides on 20” wheels, features LED headlights and taillights, LED interior lighting and independent rear seats which can swivel inwards 12 degrees to “allow passengers to enjoy the scenery or a more intimate 'tête-à-tête'.”

The Hybrid X concept uses the latest iteration of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, measures 177" x 73" x 57" and has a wheelbase of 110".

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Concept cars
By GrandMareg on 3/6/2007 1:43:14 PM , Rating: 3
Why do they always look nearly the same and then a year later we're back to something that looks like a taurus or a bug? Give me some futuristic cars please.

RE: Concept cars
By exdeath on 3/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: Concept cars
By ksherman on 3/6/2007 2:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
it would be fun though!

RE: Concept cars
By Pandamonium on 3/6/2007 2:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
... I think you missed the first poster's point. He was complaining about how all "prototype" designs look futuristic, yet the final builds look commonplace. The guy said nothing about MPG...

RE: Concept cars
By exdeath on 3/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: Concept cars
By eppenoire on 3/6/2007 2:53:48 PM , Rating: 3
I beg to differ. A Prius has a linear drag coefficient of .26, the same as the Lexus 430 and the Mercedes S class, however if it gets struck by a side wind, the thing has aerodynamics of a barn door. The first poster's comment was that when these cars go to production they look more drab, which has nothing to do with aerodynamics, but cost of manufacturing and occupant comfort.

RE: Concept cars
By timmiser on 3/6/2007 4:04:55 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. For example, take a look at the side mirrors in most concept cars. They're not there! The "concept" behind them not being there is that there would be monitors that the driver would look at to replace the mirrors. The advantage is you don't dual "air brakes" sticking out causing aerodynamic drag. The disadvantages is the extra cost of the camera/monitor system and the lack of practicality in ease of use.

The lack of side mirrors in concept vehicles has been around since the 1970's concept cars!

RE: Concept cars
By oTAL on 3/14/2007 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just trying to be an ass... ;)
It is true many concepts have no mirrors... the article pic is just an exception =).

RE: Concept cars
By ShizNet on 3/6/2007 4:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
i have to agree - final products feel like someOne cut every corner to fit the budget [see Civic 06+]

i also have to agree on weight issue. have you tried to lift 20" rim @ Goodyear shop? they must be 100+ lbs [x4/car]! and glass roof? on the other hand over the weekend we went in friend's Civic to Atlantic City - i have to slow down to 60 m/h just to be in control of this tin can on some open areas.

i guess it's all about sweet spot. go figure

RE: Concept cars
By eppenoire on 3/6/2007 2:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Very true, but a "one piece glass roof" will always weigh a tonne. I think the Honda concept will probably come out looking similiar to what we see above, it reminds me of a CRX crossed with a Lamborghini Miura, albiet not quite as attractive as the latter.
Toyota is just on a warpath to create b*tt ugly cars, irregardless of aerodynamics or weight. People buy them, but they also buy Renaults and Citroens - so I guess people as a whole have no taste.
As for the Escalade... Lexus already beat you to it :)

RE: Concept cars
By Hoser McMoose on 3/6/2007 4:58:05 PM , Rating: 3
While there is some truth to what you say, a LOT of the fuel economy advantage DOES come from the hybrid drive system. If we take Toyota as an example, they have the following curb weights for a few of their cars:

Yaris 4 door automatic: 1065kg
Corolla CE automatic: 1175kg
Prius CVT: 1335kg
Camry LE automatic: 1500kg

As you can see, the weight of the Prius slots in right in between the Corolla and the Camry, just as you would expect given that it's partway between those two in terms of size as well. However the fuel economy rating is better than either one.

You can even look just at the engine, where the Yaris and the Prius have a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine, but with the Prius having the additional Hybrid drive. Total horspower rating is 110hp for the Prius vs. 106hp for the Yaris. The Prius is rated for 4.0 city/4.2 highway l/100km (48/45mpg using the new EPA ratings) vs. 6.9/5.5 l/100km (26/36mpg using new EPA ratings) for the Yaris with a manual transmission (7.0/5.6 l/100km with the automatic).

Basically no matter how you slice or dice the numbers, the Prius is getting good fuel economy due to it's hybrid drive system, especially for city driving where the regenerative breaking really helps.

RE: Concept cars
By FITCamaro on 3/6/2007 2:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Because no one would buy a car that looks like that.

And yes, weight has a lot to do with MPG. But also don't forget with heavy vehicles, smaller engines don't equal better MPG. If you put a 150hp I4 in an Escalade it's going to get worse mileage than with a 300hp V8. Bit of an extreme example but its why you see little fuel economy difference between V6 SUVs and V8 ones. Gear ratios and rear axle ratios also play into it.

RE: Concept cars
By exdeath on 3/6/2007 2:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, a hybrid engine in a Escalade isn't going to make anyone happy... but it serves to illustrate my point that the efficiency of a hybrid has more to do with the design of the car as a whole than just some magical engine.

If you put a 3 cyl 80 HP IC engine in ANY car that is shaped like a bullet train and weights only a ton or less you are going to get higher mpg than any other car with out without a hybrid engine. Duh.

The hybrid drive train helps squeeze a few more miles out of it but it's not everything.

The key for the hybrid engine itself though is to get away from the variable value, variable intake runner, etc. All that stuff is a stop gap measure to make the IC engine do something it inheritly cannot do; operate with the same power and efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions.

Instead design a IC engine that is optimized for one RPM that is most efficient for that engine. Use that to charge the batteries and nothing else. Then run the car entirely of the electric drive train where the electric motors are efficient at any RPM.

All the hybrid designs out at the moment are using modern multi-RPM engines that are in parallel with an electric drive system.

RE: Concept cars
By ChronoReverse on 3/6/2007 3:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius engine is different from conventional engines actually. It is indeed tuned for a narrow band of RPMs and that's one of the reasons why it uses a CVT.

RE: Concept cars
By Rotorblade on 3/6/2007 2:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for some futuristic cars too...but I think the average American consumer is far too unadventurous to even think about purchasing any of the current generation concept cars.

After watching Top Gear, even production car models that are badged the same in Europe, Japan and America are more boring here in the States...unfortunately.

Dont care for the design.
By Mitch101 on 3/6/2007 3:12:23 PM , Rating: 1
While I dont care for the Design. Kudos must be given for stepping up the hybrids. Now if they can only get the prices to compete with the gas based versions I will be buying one as ugly as they are.

But if they attempt to sell me the car for $4k-$6k more than the gas version and try to upsell it with me getting government incentive tax rebates then they can all go jump off a bridge. Im not interested in Government incentives Im interested in the final price.

RE: Dont care for the design.
By Naviblue on 3/6/2007 3:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
They should take all points into consideration, design, price and efficiency. Until that happens, there won't be a mass following into the hybrid world.

When they finally can come up with a good looking car (not really asking for a BMW here, but it would be nice to have a some good looks) at reasonable price (15-20ish thousand) that can get me a good 45 or more mpg, I could really care less and just buy a civic or corolla for now.

RE: Dont care for the design.
By walk2k on 3/6/2007 5:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well if you commute medium/long distances to work you're going to save $4-6k on gas in the first 4-5 years alone.

Assuming you drive the car for 8-10 years you're going to get double your money back. Not to mention, be putting less pollution in the air. Hybrids are actually cheaper to drive, they just require a higher up-front cost.

RE: Dont care for the design.
By Mitch101 on 3/6/2007 7:39:57 PM , Rating: 1
Im not looking to recoup the difference over time. Im looking for an equivilently priced vehicle from the moment I drive it off the lot this way in 4-5 years I can say I saved $4K on gas and didnt pollute the environment as much. Not recoup my initial loss in 4-5 years.

Thats the exact reason I will not buy a hybrid. Lets say the car has a major problem in 3 years then I never recoup my initial loss and Im the one out say 1K and saved nothing in cost while giving up performance and comfort to drive the hybrid.

Lets say the flip side if I buy the gas version of the vehicle over the hybrid Its $4000 less. Thats like getting my first 1700 gallons of gas are Free. Doesnt sound like buying a hybrid makes sense when you say that.

I use 400 gallons a year that means buying the GAS version gave me 4.1 years of Free Gas. After that the difference its not that hybrid gas is free its then the difference between a car that gets 30MPG vs one that gets 45MPG at that were only talking about saving $200.00 a year in gas difference.

RE: Dont care for the design.
By walk2k on 3/8/2007 12:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds to me like you're just making up any excuse you can think of.

What happens if it breaks down in 3 years? Dude it's a Toyota, it's not going to, besides it has a 4-yr warranty, plus you can buy extended warranties if you want (totally a waste with a Toyota, those things will run for 30 years...) The batteries have a 10yr warranty...

So you make your money back in 4 years, then the next 5-6 years is pure profit.

But if you just want to go on making excuses I'm sure you can find them.....

RE: Dont care for the design.
By dever on 3/10/2007 3:39:28 PM , Rating: 1
I agree that Toyotas are super reliable (I've had several, and typically get rid of them after the 200k mark, still running).

However, it's not just the initial cost. There is the overall complexity of the vehicle to consider. Increased complexity = increased cost over time. The latter point is mitigated by the increased fuel efficiency. But, if most you your mileage is highway, the efficiency difference can be miniscule. So, factoring the increased initial cost + increased cost over the long run, it's easy to see why a reasonable person would stick with a non-hybrid under many circumstances.

By semo on 3/6/2007 2:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
why are future hybrids still going to use the ice for forward propulsion? wouldn't it be best if the engine generated power for an electric motor (or motors).

RE: .
By exdeath on 3/6/2007 2:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, see my post above.

RE: .
By eppenoire on 3/6/2007 2:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore an engine designed to charge the batteries, would be much more efficient and have fewer CO-NOX emmissions.

1988 -1991 CRX revival?
By Warren21 on 3/6/2007 4:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or does the back end of that Honda "Small Hybrid Sport" remind you of the look that the older '88 - '91 CRX had (before the CRX became the Del Sol)? IMO the CRX is one of the best sporty (or 'sportiest', rather) compact/fastback designs Honda has made.

RE: 1988 -1991 CRX revival?
By walk2k on 3/6/2007 5:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I like it. Of course it will be "toned down" for production, they always are. The idea of a "concept" car is that it be as flashy as possible to get the biggest reaction at the auto shows.

If Honda comes out with a mid-priced sports-car hybrid I'll be soo all over it. I've been drooling over the NSX concept for years (though, the NSX is more like $90k :)

why are
By EBH on 3/6/2007 6:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
concept cars so butt ugly

they look like a pill on wheels with little or no storage capacity

i want practical and econimical, screw the sports car gimmick

if you want a sports car then buy a real sports car that guzzles high octane fuel not something that is meant to save on fuel

RE: why are
By TimberJon on 3/6/2007 6:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
One concept that is NOT butt ugly would be the Saab Aero-X concept. While its not exactly a hybrid engine.. They could certainly put one in there.

And forget standard gasoline people.. Mileage is only in-demand because of the price per gallon. The price per gallon of fuel would drop significantly if it was E85 or E100 Ethanol-based fuel or biodiesel. For the moment.. production costs are up, but not prohibitive. With more refineries and facilities up and running, the cost of this type of fuel will be lower. Engine mods are already under way, as eco-friendly turbo-diesels are very successful in other countries, and it is significantly easy to modify your engine for E85 use.

Electric will be the future as we figure out how to store more energy, remotely recharge devices over local distances, and have more energy to play with (Fusion Reactors). For now.. invest in nanotechnology, and fusion. When a breakthrough is made, your stock will jump. Your cashola also helps the development of those technologies we need to advance mileage and a cleaner environment.

Hybrid economy
By andrinoaa on 3/7/2007 11:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry guys, but you haven't taken into account the "true" cost of gas when you factor in the price differencial.
We never ever factor in the total cost of consumption. This SHOULD include the cost of cleaning up our mess. ie we pay for exploration, drilling, refining, retailing.... but where is the cleanup cost? With climate change being the big chill factor, we may be forced into paying the corrected price. Hybrids will look pretty good then.
Don't say "I'll do what I like" because it now has global repercussions. Our wealth is at the expense of others so we should be more humble and try to do the right thing.Ironically we all eat ,drink and p15 at the same "bowl"

RE: Hybrid economy
By oTAL on 3/14/2007 3:16:27 PM , Rating: 2

Not for me
By Ringold on 3/6/2007 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 1
I'd gladly lose a little efficiency and have a vehicle that looks like the new Mustang's (or the classic ones), the new Camaro's, or older Corvettes (ie, stingray's).

Something deep in my Y chromosome looks at them and equates those concept models with Minivans and baby food, style and the appearence of performance and strength sacrificed needlessly upon the alter of metrosexuality, slayed by Oprah and tree-huggers.

I had a 1982 Corvette for a while (got a nice offer, so cashed out), and even though its reliability was questionable, had no fuel efficiency to speak of, and I was rather aware of the total lack of safety features, at least it looked good... :P

RE: Not for me
By dubldwn on 3/6/2007 7:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
Something deep in my Y chromosome looks at them and equates those concept models with Minivans and baby food, style and the appearence of performance and strength sacrificed needlessly upon the alter of metrosexuality, slayed by Oprah and tree-huggers.

As a metrosexual who's into expensive sports cars, I'd appreciate it if you would not group us in with minivans, baby food, Oprah, and tree-huggers, whatever that means.
Thank You.

always sooooo ugly
By Moishe on 3/6/2007 2:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
So very, very ugly!

By Polynikes on 3/6/2007 3:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids will never be accepted in the mainstream when they look like that.

By TimberJon on 3/6/2007 6:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
Isnt some of the manufacturers mileage inaccuracy in part related to their wind tunnel tests? The dyno that they use in their lab always has smooth surfaces right? Like all Dyno's...

But roads are concrete, asphalt and combinations between and otherwise.. The width of the contact patch of the tires drags that mileage down. Smooth steel Dyno to typical street texture will drag mileage down alot more. Add wind and drag and your mileage goes down a little more...

So in factory conditions, im pretty sure theyre using a Triple coat of wax on the body, steel drum dyno (acetoned),
and mountain fresh air..

Concept is flawed.
By boinkle on 3/6/2007 8:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
Consider the environmental cost of locating, extracting and processing these rare earth metals - cadmium, lithium et cetera. I wonder if these hybrids would be anywhere near the 22% or so efficiency level, if this was taken into account.

The 70MPG (Diesel) VW Polo recently announced is far more exciting, in my eyes.

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