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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - images courtesy Toyota Motor Company
Toyota revamps its Highlander Hybrid, carries over the powertrain

Toyota continues its push for hybrid vehicles with the new 2008 Highlander Hybrid. The new Highlander Hybrid and is based on the new Toyota Camry/Avalon chassis and rides on a wheelbase that is 3" longer. The vehicle is also 3" wider and 4" longer than the previous Highlander Hybrid.

Sadly, the powertrain for the 2008 Highlander Hybrid is a carryover from the previous model. In this case, the old 3.3 liter V6 (which itself is an outgrowth of the even older 3.0 liter corporate V6) and continuously variable transmission (CVT) is still being used to carry the majority of the load on the vehicle. There was speculation that the new 3.5 liter V6 would also be paired with the Synergy hybrid system used on the 2008 Highlander hybrid, but keeping the price down on the model was probably the reasoning for the carryover.

That being said, the Highlander retains its EPA rating of 31MPG/27MPG city/highway despite picking up an additional 500 pounds of heft. The 2008 Highlander Hybrid also offers the option to shut off the gasoline engine completely and run solely on battery power according to AutoblogGreen. The only problem is that the Highlander Hybrid’s NiMH batteries mean that you’ll only be able to travel an astonishing one mile on battery power alone.

GM’s 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line promises to deliver as much as 10 miles of battery-only power thanks to its lithium-ion batteries.

Pricing has not yet been announced for the new 2008 Highlander Hybrid, but expect modest price increases over the 2007 model. The 2007 model retails between $32,490 for a FWD Highlander Hybrid Base to $36,550 for an AWD Highlander Hybrid Limited.



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RE: ignorance
By exdeath on 2/9/2007 12:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, that graph shows 375 ft/lbs at 3500 RPM.

Whats a LS1 put out, 300-400 ft/lbs at 4500 RPM?

This isn't a X engine is better than Y engine comparison, just a simple illustration. You could turbo the LS1 and build it with the same materials and make twice the power as the I4.

But the point is, they DONT. They use an engine with too much potential for their power goals without using that potential, and as a result, you pay the price associated with a bigger engine.

Its the same reason gas turbines are not used in cars. They are way more efficient than piston engines, but only at sustained power levels far more than what is needed for a car. To nerf it down for a car would get crappy mpg and all that draw backs of that type of engine with none of the advantages.


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