The first production hybrid sold in the world, in Japan in December 1997, was the Toyota Prius. Since then, many manufacturers have joined in the hybrid car business, realizing that it’s not a car fad anymore. Car buyers are looking for ways to not only protect the earth, but also save money on rising gas prices. As time has gone on, hybrid technology has gotten better and better, and now the more luxury-driven (no pun intended) carmakers have tossed their hats into the hybrid ring. Here are a few of the new, luxurious, hybrid cars.
The Lexus ES 300h
The 2014 Lexus ES 300h is the first ever hybrid in Lexus’ line of ES cars. The ES 300h is different than Lexus’ previous hybrids, because this version focuses more on fuel economy than performance. The 300h can get an EPA estimated 40 mpg in combined highway and city driving, drawing it close to even with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Under the hood, the 200h has a hybrid powertrain which consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor.
One of the eye-catching features of the 300h is the bamboo wood trim lining. Other interior features include climate control, the Lexus Remote Touch System, and a navigation system. The ES 300h starts at $39,250.
Lexus LS 600hL
The 2014 Lexus LS 600hL takes luxury hybrids to another level. The LS 600hL is a powerful beast, with its 5.0-liter V8 engine along with an electric motor and generators that produce 389 horsepower. With an EPA estimated 19 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg while driving on the highway, the hybrid engine could be viewed as a performance booster.
If buying it fully loaded, which you should, the LS 600hL comes with rear climate control, a refrigerator, the remote touch system, and even a reclining back seat, along with numerous other upgrades. The LS 600hL starts off at $119,910, and fully loaded will cost you $134,860.
Lexus GS 450h
The 2013 Lexus GS Hybrid, cousin of the Toyota Prius, puts its early ancestor to shame by demonstrating (and displaying) gas-hybrid technology in a whole new light. With 29/34 mpg, this Lexus perfects the recipe that combines environmental and economic awareness with prestige. In fact, the 2013 GS450 Hybrid surprisingly trumps the other GS family members – the regular and F sport version – when it comes to power (not speed, however). The interior cabin is far from disappointing. Leather seating is luxuriously comfortable.
Lexus CT 200h
The Lexus CT 200h is Lexus’ hybrid hatchback. It’s powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in conjunction with two electric motor/generators. The CT 200h can get an EPA estimated 42 mpg in combined driving. The CT 200h also features the Lexus Remote Touch system. The CT 200h starts at $32,050, and with the navigation package, it is $37,170.
Infiniti M Hybrid
The Infiniti M Hybrid introduced Nissan’s first electric hybrid technology developed in-house. The 2013 M35h uses that hybrid technology to get 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Under the hood, the M35h has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that pushes out 360 horsepower. On August 23, 2011, the Infiniti M35h set an official Guinness world record for the world’s fastest-accelerating production full hybrid. A cool feature that the M35h has is an intelligent regenerative braking system that, when stopping or coasting, recaptures energy that would normally be lost and charges the lithium-ion battery. Some of the standard options Infiniti includes are a USB connection for cell phones and iPods and memorized settings for various functions, such as climate control and the audio system. The M35h starts at $54,750.
Acura ILX Hybrid
The Acura ILX is Acura’s entry level sedan. The ILX Hybrid uses a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist. That’s an electric motor that acts as an occasional power booster, and it converts braking energy into electricity, which is used to help recharge the ILX’s lithium-ion battery pack. In terms of gas mileage, the ILX Hybrid can get 39 mpg in the city and 38 mpg with combined highway and city driving. Feature-wise, the ILX Hybrid comes packed with a sun roof, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and Pandora integration. There’s also a premium and technology trim package, if that floats your boat.
Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid
For the über luxurious there’s the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid. The 918 Spyder Hybrid has a 4.6-liter V8 engine paired with a 154 horsepower electric motor to give it a total of 795 horsepower. The 918 Spyder Hybrid can also get an impressive 78 miles to the gallon. At the time of writing, not much is known about the interior of the car. Porsche has a special way for potential buyers to purchase the Spyder Hybrid. They must first put down a $200,000 deposit at an authorized Porsche dealer. Then Porsche would send a confirmation letter and estimated time of production. A year before the production date, buyers will then have to pay another $200,000. Once the cars are built, owners will then be responsible for the last $445,000 bringing the total to a whopping $845,000! Only 918 of the Spyder Hybrids are being built, and sorry if I got you really interested – because they’re all sold out.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class may not label itself as a “hybrid,” the 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid does (and for good reason). Gas mileage gets even more impressive with the gas-electric version of the Panamera, touting 22/30 mpg. However, its performance is not compromised. The handling is still impressive, and the 380 total horsepower engine (gasoline and electric engines combined) speaks for itself. The transitions between gas and electric power are seamless. This car truly fits into all three categories of performance car, luxury car and economy car – making it an engineering phenomenon.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, ranked as one of the top luxury cars overall, has improved its featured fuel economy even more with its 2013 model. The full-size 2012 model boasted 14/21 mpg, but the 2013 models boast an average of about 19/25 mpg. Aside from its efficiency, this sedan continues to be the face of class and sophistication. Mercedes-Benz is utilizing the interior lighting feature as a style element by offering three different lighting moods: neutral (white), solar (amber) and polar (ice-blue). As always, nearly every inch of the cabin is wrapped in gorgeous wood and soft leather – resulting in optimal visual and physical comfort for every passenger.
BMW ActiveHybrid 7-series
The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7-series proves to have an impressive overall efficiency that surpasses the new 740Li by 14 percent. Its Break Energy Regeneration technology ensures the battery is only charged during breaking, decelerating or coasting. Fundamentally, the electric motor automatically switches into a generator mode when the vehicle’s performance does not require acceleration. This allows the engine’s power to be available for acceleration. However, if the driver is traveling at a speed of 35 miles per hour or less, and the battery has been charged adequately, the ActiveHybrid 7 can travel using only electricity for up to 2.5 miles. In addition, the Hybrid Start-Stop system contributes to the overall efficiency. However, this 7-series is placed last on the list because the U.S. EPA fuel efficiency numbers are not yet available.
BMW ActiveHybrid 3-Series
The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is the first hybrid entry in the 3-Series. BMW designed its hybrids for people who also think about performance in addition to saving fuel. The ActiveHybrid 3 has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine paired with an eight speed automatic transmission, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery. The EPA estimate for the ActiveHybrid 3 is 28 mpg combined city and highway driving. Even with this estimate, BMW says that ActiveHybrid 3 drivers will experience better fuel economy because of its highway coasting ability. BMW spokesman Dave Buchko says that “…the EPA test cycle does not take into account the fact that on the highway the car can coast with the internal combustion engine off.” The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 starts at $49,200.
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For more information about hybrid cars, visit eBay Green Driving.
About the Author:
Lauren Atwell works as a marketing specialist for Park Place Texas – high-end dealerships specializing in luxury automobiles while providing an unmatched purchase and ownership experience.