Hybrids are becoming a common sight in almost every automotive segment. For 2015 you’ll see updates to familiar models. Additionally, you’ll see more alternate fuel vehicles, including EVs with more range than before and hydrogen powered cars.
What’s New for Hybrids This Year?
There are few new compact hybrids this year. The Prius is still the car that comes to mind when it comes to hybrids, but the competition is mounting an offensive.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Non-Hybrids
The Toyota Camry Hybrid looks decidedly sportier than its last iteration but still claims a 41 MPG combined rating.
Toyota is also offering a new version of its family-sized Highlander crossover. It uses a six-cylinder engine combined with electric motors to earn 28 mpg. In order to help drivers speak to the passengers in the third row, Toyota has a Driver Easy Speak feature that uses a microphone to broadcast the driver’s voice through the speakers in the third-row.
There is a new luxury hybrid this year: the compact Lexus NX 300h that is available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models get 33 mpg combined, while all-wheel drive models earn 32 mpg. Those looking for more space may like the new Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. Unlike the old Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, the S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, sporting 416 horsepower, which is good for a 5.4 second sprint to 60 mph.
SEE ALSO: Toyota Mirai First Drive
When it comes to luxury sedans, there’s a pair of new hybrids from Japan. Both the Infiniti Q70 Hybrid and Acura RLX pair a V6 engine to electric motors to provide V8 power and torque, while delivering V6 fuel efficiency. The RLX even uses a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system to provide excellent grip and handling.
If you’d like to push the idea of a hybrid to the next level, be aware there are quite a few new alternate fuel vehicles hitting the market next year, but only if you’re in the right location. More hydrogen vehicles, which have a low carbon footprint, are going to be offered in select states. The Toyota Mirai offers about 300 miles of range, while the Hyundai Tucson FCEV offers a crossover body-style, which may be more family friendly. Both can be filled in minutes at a hydrogen station.
Every year we expect the new Acura NSX to arrive. 2015 may be the year. Using a mid-mounted V6 engine sending power to the rear wheels and a pair of electric motors to power the front wheels, the NSX will be an all-wheel drive affordable alternative to Ferrari performance levels.
SEE ALSO: Acura NSX First Look Video
A new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will be shown off at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. A new generation model, the gas Sonata arrived with a far more sedate design than its last generations. It will be interesting to see if Hyundai tones down the hybrids exterior appearance as well.