Top 3 Electric / Hybrid picks for the 2014 Vancouver International Auto Show
The Vancouver International Auto show has returned to town! In keeping with the Eco theme that is so on trend this days, there are quite a few electric and hybrid vehicles on this year’s show floor. Here are my top 3 electric and hybrid car picks of the show.
Toyota Camry Hybrid Special Edition
While it may seem like an unlikely top choice, the Camry hybrid is truly what brought affordable hybrid technology to the masses in an unassuming package that didn’t scream “eco” as loudly as a Prius.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition, unveiled at the 2014 Vancouver auto show, combines the advanced power and fuel efficiency of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive with the popular Camry SE grade’s desirable appearance features.
“Special Editions showcase design and sportiness, and those attending this month's Vancouver International Auto Show will be among the first in Canada to see the very new, very special edition first hand," said Larry Hutchinson, Vice President at Toyota Canada. "But like all Special Editions, these unique versions…will be available in limited quantities - so speak with a Toyota Dealer to get the best selection”.
With an MSRP of $29,540, the Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition is immediately recognizable by its full skirt package, rear spoiler, sport-style grille, and other exterior details.
Inside, the cabin receives unique front sport seats and special sport fabric, a power adjustable driver’s seat, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminium scuff plates, and more.
For more information on the Camry Hybrid – including the Camry Hybrid SE Special Edition– visit: www.toyota.ca/camryhybrid
One of the most anticipated cars at this year’s autoshow, the i8, a plug-in hybrid 2 + 2 sports car, is supposed to compete with other performance cars in its general price range.
The i8 is a significant vehicle because it is the first plug-in hybrid from BMW Canada and "the world's most progressive sports car,” as they’ve put it.
With a passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic that is 50% lighter than steel and 30% lighter than aluminium, the i8 weighs in at a relatively low overall weight of 3285 pounds.
Powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cyliner gasoline engine, and electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, this is the first BMW hybrid in which different sets of drive wheels are operated by different motors. The gas engine sends power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed auto transmission whereas the electric motor sends power through the front wheels via a 2-stage auto transmission. Combined system output is an impressive 362 hp and 420 ft-lbs of torque.
0-100km/hr sprints are expect to take just 4.4 seconds, and the vehicle has a range of up to 35 kms and a top speed of 120 km/hr on electric power alone.
If you’re a high-tech early adopters/pioneers, or just someone who can afford the latest and greatest , you are likely the perfect customers for this vehicle.
It may not look exactly like a traditional BMW, but for city folks interested in an electric vehicle, the new-age BMW i3 should make a compelling choice.
Conceived from the outset as a dedicated EV, it has seating for four people and a surprising amount of space for both passengers and cargo. The i3 is also sure to turn heads wherever you go.
This rear-wheel drive electric vehicle has a passenger cell made up of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, similar to the i8.
A 168hp electric motor producing 184 ft-lbs of torque sits crossways between the rear wheels along with its 22kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This layout gives the i3 the added bonus of perfect 50/50 weight distribution similar to other BMWs.
BMW claims that the i3 will reach 100 km/hr in 7.2 seconds and should run on EV power alone for 128 to 161 kms of range.
An optional “range extender” 650cc gasoline engine, which acts as a generator, can add up to another 144 kms to the above EV-only range.
If you’re a fan of electric vehicles (or even if you aren’t), the i3 is truly unique and interesting machine that will give you a glimpse into how a growing number of cars will be built in the future.
The Vancouver International Auto show is at the Vancouver Convention Centre West and is now open daily to the public till Sunday March 30th at 4pm.