Honda Fit Hybrid Now Japan's Cheapest Gas-Electric Vehicle

We may not be seeing Honda’s 2011 Honda Jazz/Fit hybrid over here in North American any time soon, but it doesn’t mean we won’t uncross our fingers. And now we’re even more excited – that’s because it has launched in Japan for 1.59 million yen ($19,310 U.S.), making it the cheapest gas-electric car available in Japan.

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BREAKING: Kia Optima Hybrid To Debut At Los Angeles Auto Show

While attending the launch of the 2011 Kia Optima, AutoGuide has just learned that Kia is planning to launch an Optima Hybrid, based on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The new model will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, with sales beginning in early 2011.

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Daimler To Expand EV Partnership With Renault-Nissan

After signing a pact to develop electric cars in April, Daimler has announced that they will expand their alliance with Renault- Nissan, as automakers scramble to bring alternative fuel vehicles to the market.

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Lexus CT200h Safety Features Unveiled

As more details trickle out in advance of the Lexus CT200h launch (which Autoguide will be attending in the next few weeks) and Lexus has just announced some of the various safety features available on the Lexus hybrid hatchback.

The CT200h has the usual alphabet soup of ABS, Electronic Brake Force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and a Pre-Collision System (PCS).

The PCS is the one major new safety system on the CT200h. Using the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, the PCS can also detect obstacles in the path of the CT200h, and alert the driver in case of imminent danger. The car will also use the Brake Assist and seatbelt pre-tensioners as active safety systems should they be necessary.

[Source: Lexus]

Get more Lexus CT200h News and Info at CT200hForum.com

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Lexus CT200h To Offer Adjustable Driving Modes

Lexus is set to offer an adjustable drive mode system on their upcoming CT200h hybrid hatchback, similar to systems from automakers like Nissan and Subaru.

While other performance hybrids, like the Honda CR-Z, are content with Normal, Sport and Eco modes, the CT200h has all of the above, plus an EV mode. As you can infer by the names, Normal is the standard setting, while Eco dials back the air-conditioning and throttle response and Sport sharpens up the throttle and steering. Stability control and traction control systems are also dialed back to give drivers a bit more fun behind the wheel.

The EV mode is a bit more interesting, and allows drivers to drive for one mile under electric power, but at speeds of 25 mph or under – a pretty useless feature, but a promising glimpse of things to come from Lexus. Autoguide will be previewing the CT200h at the end of September, so stay tuned for our driving impressions.

Get More Lexus CT200h News and Info at CT200hForum.com

Hit the jump to see the official press release

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Toyota To Celebrate A Decade Of Prius Sales On October 10, 2010

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Toyota Prius sales in the United States, Toyota is holding a contest to find the “most passionate Prius fan in the United States”, who will then have the privilege of hosting the Prius’ 10th anniversary celebration in their hometown.

The Toyota press release asks owners “Are you a fuel-efficient hyper-miler, an eco-warrior or tech-savvy gadget guru? Do you volunteer in your community? Toyota wants to hear from you! Submit a video or several photos demonstrating your Prius passion for a chance to host the official 10 Years of Toyota Prius Anniversary Celebration in your hometown. Toyota will select the Top 10 finalists and leave it to the Prius community to decide who should be crowned the most passionate Prius fan.”

Unfortunately, none of the Autoguide crew can claim to be any of the above, but we are excited for what was strongly hinted at in a press briefing that mentioned a series of “reveals” leading up to the event, which might be a new model introduction – or we’re confusing our hopes with reality.

[Source: Toyota]

Hit the jump to read the official press release

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid Is The Sole Hybrid To Pay Back Owner

In a perverse insight into how the world works, a study conducted by the British Columbia Automotive Association has concluded that the only hybrid that pays back its owners with any kind of economic benefit is the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid.

According to the BCAA, the study takes into account how much one pays for the hybrid over a conventional gas model. With the S-Class Hybrid costing $5,000 less than the S450, the next model up, the BCAA figures that you’d be able to spend the difference on gas and other consumables, even if the car only uses a mild hybrid system.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

[Source: BCAA via Green Car Reports]

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Honda Fit Hybrid to Debut at Paris Auto Show

Honda will launch the Fit Hybrid at the Paris Auto Show this Fall, expanding the Japanese automaker’s hybrid lineup down-market. The new model will be the first hybrid sub-compact model offered and is possible because of Honda’s low-cost Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup.

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New York City Cab Drivers Resist Hybrids, Speak Up For Ford Crown Victoria

The yellow Ford Crown Victoria taxi is so common in New York City that it’s almost an icon just like the Yankees or the Empire State Building.

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BREAKING: Chevrolet Volt Priced At $41,000, Lease Payment Matches Nissan Leaf


General Motors has announced that their Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will be priced at $41,000 when it goes on sale later in November 2010. The Volt is also entitled to a $7,500 tax credit given to buyers of electric vehicles, which brings the price down to $33,500. The MSRP includes a $720 destination charge. Fully loaded, the Volt will cost $44,600, or $37,100 with the tax credit.

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GM To Announce Chevrolet Volt Pricing Tuesday; Let The Betting Begin

General Motors just sent us this sparse press release to let us know that Chevrolet Volt pricing is being announced tomorrow at 12 noon EST. We know that the government will be chipping in with a $7,500 tax credit if you buy a Volt, but beyond that, it’s anybodies guess as to how much it will cost.

We’d love to hear what you think the Volt will be priced at. Leave your guess in the comments and see if you beat Autoguide’s prediction of $29,999 after the credit. The winner gets a smug sense of self-satisfaction.

[Source: General Motors]

Hit the jump to read the official press release

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Prince Charles To Host Eco-Friendly Car Show In London

Prince Charles is shutting down The Mall in London to display environmentally friendly vehicles for 10 days in September. The Prince is not only a keen environmentalist but a collector of Aston Martins and other sports cars, and the nexus of both conservation and automobiles is an appropriate area of interest for him.

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2011 Honda Fit Hybrid Review

Honda hasn’t had much luck with its recent hybrids.

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Silent But Deadly – Safety Regulation May Make Hybrid and Electric Cars Louder

As quiet as ninjas, hybrid and electric cars can be just as deadly. But while ninjas sneak up on you quickly, hybrid and electric vehicles are most likely to get you at low, parking lot speeds.

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Saab 92 Decision Coming Soon Says CEO; Will Get Hybrid Engine If Given the Green Light

Saab will decide within the next 100 days if it will move ahead with plans to introduce a small premium 92 model to compete with vehicles like the MINI Cooper, Audi A1, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes B Class.

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