While a few years back the coveted German luxury trio was seen too conventional for dedicating their efforts to the “old” gas and diesel engines and Toyota was heralded as Earth’s savior for pushing out its technology leadership in the field of hybrid powertrains.
The tide is turning now, though, with Toyota refocusing its engineering might towards fuel cell electric cars and Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW or Mercedes focusing on plug-in hybrids – models that should bring out “the best of both worlds.” For example, cars as varied as the new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, BMW i8 and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid can give the owner the option of commuting inside the city without any harmful emissions. They can also head to those twisty mountain passes for a true driving experience because they also have a traditional combustion engine under the hood that takes out the range anxiety associated with the typical battery operated electric vehicle.
And with the plug-in’s electric motor that delivers its maximum torque from the get-go, there’s no chance of performance loss. Owners and carmakers alike also benefit as the regulators put the plug-in hybrids in a different category for taxes and “certified” CO2 emissions. In Europe, for example, 10 out of 17 plug-in hybrids offered in dealerships have been produced by a German brand, with the three big German luxury marquees calling the plug-in models strategic for the period spanning to 2025.
Via Automotive News Europe