Toyota engineers, on their free time, have created a prototype hybrid plug-in roadster from spare Corolla and Prius parts. Though it is just a prototype, it does meet the US crash safety standards and meets the conditions on its emissions. For a quick look at its speed, it goes 0-60 in 5.8s… So what is this amazing, hybrid plug-in roadster? It is the TE-S800 that weighs less than 2000 pounds but can pull out 115 horse power. Taking a quick look under the hood to see that all important engine, one can see that it uses the Toyota’s 1.5 liter Otto-cycle 1NZ-FE engine which is the same engine Toyota uses for its Prius cars. This engine, however, is going under some minor adjustments to make it even more efficient than normal. To make the most fuel efficient car, Toyota has looked to combine a new efficient battery with a high performing mpg engine. Although it is still in the planning stages, Toyota looks to either use a new lithium ion battery back or a interchangeable battery pack (similar to Tesla). This should bring gas mileage up to around 54 or 55 MPG. When looking at all this, this is the future of Toyota and the engineers’ pipe dream of a hybrid plug-in roadster that is fuel efficient. In truth, this is the future of all auto-making. The new innovations of employees such as these enthusiastic engineers will define the next trend in the automobile era. This is drastically different when compared to Henry Ford’s day who shot down any improvements to his Model T. When looking at eras, then, it can be seen that different types of cars defined that time period. Back then it was functionality, then style, then power. Maybe today, innovators are looking to make cars that fulfill the hot red-blooded, meat loving American male but at the same time does not break his bank; maybe not. I don’t know but it is something to think about.
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