American hybrid carmakers: racing against time


In the 1990s, the U.S. Department of Energy collaborated with GM, Ford, Chrysler, to challenge the dominance of their Japanese and European counterparts in the development of hybrid cars.
Millions of dollars were put into the huge project of developing American hybrid cars.

Ten years after, Ford came up with one model entry into the market, competing against six Japanese hybrid cars. Ford started selling the Escape SUV Hybrid in September of 2004. The other two American hybrid cars manufacturers are having a hard time in delivering their hybrids to the consumer public.

Whatever happened to the big American hybrid dream cars can be anybody’s guess.

Below is a short update on the status of American hybrid car manufacturers.

Ford

The public release of the Ford Escape Hybrid was finally materialized in September 2004. The original schedule however, was in 2003. The Ford’s answer to the call for American hybrid cars is a fully hybrid electric vehicle, able to run on its gasoline or its electric motor, or both. This is to meet the requirements set by driver demand to optimize performance and limit fuel consumption.

The Ford Escape was first ever among American hybrid cars. It produces less than one pound of smog-forming pollutants for every 15,000 miles. This is more significant when compared with all light trucks average of 105 pounds of smog-forming pollutants for every 15,000 miles. The average for passenger cars, with the same number of miles, is 67 pounds.

At present, hybrids, particularly, American hybrid cars are the hottest topic in the U.S. The populace is interested in finding out how hybrid will benefit the environment. , including their small as well as their own budget for fuel. And perhaps, the consumers are interested if the hybrids would really consume small amount of fuel.

And Ford is clever enough to make the first American hybrid car as SUV. For obvious reason, SUV is considered as very American, which help the Ford hybrid to sell.

The Ford Hybrid has the looks and performance capabilities of a normal car. This allows the American hybrid car to evade the “image-look” problem of Honda’s earlier version of hybrid cars. The improved fuel economy usage of the Ford Escape has also impressed American buyers.

To show its commitment to environment issue, has installed 10.4 acres-wide purifying plants in its factory in Dearborn. The plants server as insulators to the building, and is improving the water runoff. Ford is also on its for producing Mercury Mariner Hybrid next year. A hybrid smaller-sized sedan will follow, and a hydrogen-powered Ford Focus is being developed.

Daimler-Chrysler

When Evan Boberg, an automotive engineer for Chrysler’s hybrid program resigned over the presumed incompetence oof program officers in the early 1990s, many believed that the hybrid program of Chrysler is good as dead. Last year however, Daimler-Chrysler has announced the release of its first hybrid offering in the market, named as the Dodge Ram Contractor Special. As modeled after other hybrid pickups, Dodge Ram will emphasize utility, instead of fuel saving system. The hybrid however, failed to meet the promised mass production, and available only to fleet owners.

In a separate interview by a German auto industry paper in 2004, Thomas Weber, DaimlerChrysler board member, said that it will take five years to come up with a Mercedes hybrid. So before the present decade ends, a new Mercedes will take the road of major cities in the world.

General Motors

GM began offering American hybrid cars with Sierra and Silverado, for fleet and commercial customers in May 2004. In October of the same year, GM started offering the hybrid pickups to six states: Washington, California, Nevada, Alaska, Florid, and Oregon. The limited offering was based consumer demand for American hybrid cars in those States.

GM also produced 2,000 of their Silverado and Sierra hybrid trucks for 2005. For the year 2006, the availability of the hybrid pickup trucks has been expanded to include the entire nationwide demand. Before the present year ends, GM is contemplating a volume of 3,000 units.

Aside from a new hybrid vehicle Saturn VUE this year, GM is also offering Chevrolet Malibu for next year, 2007. Next year, GM is also set to come up with two-mode full hybrid. This project is being developed with Daimler Chrysler and BMW. The resulting America hybrid car is expected to have 25 percent more fuel economy than the popular SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon.

The Best Of American Muscle Cars

When you think of a car that is born tough, incredibly masculine and delivers high-performance, actually you are thinking of a muscle car. All these attributes and many such others are known to be a part of the classic muscle car, and those who own one can readily agree with all the above. Since a long time, the muscle cars are thought t be some of the classic examples of the era when American automobile production had reached its peak.

These classic American cars, with all their sensual aerodynamic design and remarkable suitability for events such as drag racing, have helped them to attain a fame that has earned it a place in the history. Moreover, these cars are regarded as one of the signature vehicle design movements of modern automobile history.

The design of the classic American muscle car is all about power and appearance blended together to produce a stunning vehicle. It is contrary to the conception that classic muscle car emphasized power over appearance. A look at the classic muscle car can stop you in your tracks and a drive will take you to a different world.

And this is why the American muscle cars developed a craze among car enthusiasts. Looking at the design elements of the muscle cars, you will find that these vehicles have bigger engines than conventional cars, and are in fact bigger than the average sports car, and are bounded by the toughness of the frame that other cars can only envy. A typical Muscle car is the one which is made in the years between 1964 to 1973.

Among the most popular models of the American muscle cars are the Dodge Charger, the Chevrolet El Camino, and the Plymouth Road Runner and the Ford Mustang. In addition to these cars the Ford Fairlane 500, Ford Torino, the Mercury Montego, Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Pontiac GTO, Firebird, and Tempest, Olds 442, American Javelin, Plymouth ‘Cuda, and Dodge Challenger and the Charger are some of the highly adored American Muscle cars. Presently, the only Mustang and Corvette have retained their designs whereas the Dodge Charger has restructured as a four door muscle car along with its sibling, the hot Dodge Magnum wagon.

The American muscle cars won the record of topping the popularity charts just after their brief introduction to the market. The market penetrating factor was the popularity the racing trend among the youth, which was the only emerging segment in terms of spending power at that time.

Riding on the racing euphoria, the muscle car manufacturing companies began to design tougher cars that appealed to the sense of aesthetics that the youths had and combined it with technical and performance features that made them suited for street racing.

Meanwhile the implementation of the new designs and technical upgrades resulted in doubling the costs of the car, many companies eventually developed “budget muscle” models that compromised some of the performance and design aspects in favor of reducing costs. This was the right move as of now, both the classic muscle car and budget muscle car designs were accepted into the market and began to drive their way into the American youth’s mind.