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Hybrid SUV

The hybrid SUV is one of the most popular alternative vehicles to market so far.

Each manufacturer knows that having a hybrid SUV in the lineup will insure profitability and future growth.

As some auto manufacturers raced to get their hybrid cars to market, others focused on their hybrid SUV lineup instead.

Take Ford for example, which has not pushed a single gasoline-electric hybrid car to market, but does have one hybrid SUV in showrooms under their own brand (Escape Hybrid SUV) and one hybrid SUV under the Mercury brand name (Mariner Hybrid SUV). To Ford's credit though, they have just presented two Florida agencies with five Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) based on hydrogen technology, so the commitment to going green is there.

 

 

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The photo above is of a Mercury Mariner Hybrid in front of a Ford Escape Hybrid.

 

The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV was named the 2005 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In addition, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and promoted in newsletters as the ultimate green machine.

Toyota also has one hybrid SUV now available under their own brand (Highlander Hybrid SUV) and one hybrid SUV under the Lexus brand name (RX400h Hybrid SUV). The Highlander Hybrid SUV is the world's first 7-passenger hybrid vehicle, making it the largest SUV from any manufacturer to have hybrid technology. In addition, the Lexus RX400h Hybrid SUV is the world's first hybrid luxury vehicle. This hybrid SUV is so popular that you can't simply drive down and pick one up as there is a long waiting list for this model.

Coming a little late to market, General Motors has five different hybrid SUV models coming out in the near future. The lineup includes the Chevy S3X SUV Hybrid, Chevy Equinox Hybrid SUV, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid SUV, GMC Yukon Hybrid SUV and the Saturn VUE Hybrid SUV. All are expected to roll out in 2006 or 2007.

The S3X, Equinox and Saturn VUE SUV share the same Theta platform and mild hybrid systems. The Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUV are heavier and incorporate full hybrid systems.

Also coming to market in 2006 for the 2007 selling season is the Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV. Since Ford owns 33-percent of Mazda, most likely the Tribute Hybrid SUV will be based upon Ford's Escape Hybrid SUV technology.

One hybrid SUV of note that hasn't found a roll out date yet is the BMW X5 Hybrid SUV (or SAV as they are calling it, which stands for Sport Activity Vehicle). The most exciting feature of this SUV is the use of high-performance super-capacitors under the floorboard that give the SUV more torque than any other SUV in its class plus a 15-percent fuel efficiency increase.

The hybrid SUV is here to stay. There is no turning back now. Consumers want it. Manufacturers profit from it. The environment benefits from it. In a few years, the hybrid SUV will eclipse all other SUVs and simply be called "That SUV in our garage."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

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