Hybrids are, to many an enthusiast, the automotive equivalent of granny panties. But for those who value efficiency over speed, milage over handling, and smugness above adrenaline-fueled magical laughter, hybrids have carved out a substantial niche. The standard hybrid of the modern era is defined by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor/battery combo that double teams the effort to move the vehicle. The overall goal is similar to turbo or supercharging, adding an assist to as small an engine as is realistically possible for the given massif the car.
That makes a lot of sense if your goal is lessening your carbon footprint and minimizing your cost per mile, and that’s why cars like Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight make some sense. But it now seems you can’t punch a hippie without having him collapse against a hybrid that doesn’t fit that low-cost, save the planet mantra. Lexus extends their Hybrid technology all the way up to the uber luxury 600, a car that will set you back deep into six figures. BMW has a similar product that’s equally dear, plus there are versions of Porsche’s Panamera and Cayenne that rock down to electric avenue, making them a little more efficient in their fuel use, and a butt load more expensive and complicated.
It’s that extension of the hybrid technology to cars and trucks that seem to cater to an audience least interested in saving the planet that is of questionable logic. What do you think, what’s the craziest hybrid out there?