For students pursuing careers in the auto industry, hybrid cars are one of the most important new developments in recent years. The vehicles, which combine traditional gasoline engines with electric motors, have required mechanics to learn how to service a radically different power source, requiring a combination of electrical and mechanical knowledge.
2016 already looks set to be a defining year for hybrid cars. The recent fall in gas prices may have led to a drop in sales, but with automakers under government pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency, the major auto companies are continuing to invest in hybrid technology. Next year will see a wider range of hybrids on the market than ever before.
So what are some of the new hybrid models that auto industry students should look out for in 2016? Read on to find out.
BMW X5 xDrive40e: Precision Crossover Auto Mechanics
BMW’s mid-size, luxury SUV is considered a crossover vehicle, combining SUV and coupe features. The new hybrid model furthers the X series quest for the best of all possible car worlds, and will be the first car BMW has produced with full hybrid technology.
The X5 xDrive40e combines a 2.0 liter four cylinder gas engine, which carries a 241hp and 258 lb-ft torque, supported by an electric motor adding a further 94 hp and 184 lb-ft. Students enrolled in auto technician courses will be impressed by an acceleration of 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in 6.8 seconds, and like the original X5, all-wheel drive comes as standard. On the downside, the electric motor only offers 20km of drive time on its own, far less than many competitors on the market.
See the car here:
Toyota Rav4 Hybrid: Auto Industry Pioneers Reinvent Their Own Wheels
This car combines two of Toyota’s most successful recent innovations. The Japanese car giant led the way for hybrids with its Prius, while the hugely popular Rav4 was considered the first compact crossover vehicle. The exterior design remains faithful to the traditional Rav4, with a few minor tweaks. As far as the mechanics go, Toyota is keeping us guessing with the details as usual, traditionally preferring to save some surprises for the LA Auto show in December.
Check out this video for a look at the 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid:
Chevrolet Volt: Auto Industry Giant Leads the Hybrid Race
Students pursuing auto industry careers will find something to be excited about with the release of the brand-new Chevy Volt. Mechanic students will be interested in taking a look at the 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine, which combines with two electric generators to produce 149 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. A larger battery capacity also means that the Volt can run only on electricity for an impressive 84km, far outstripping most hybrids in the market.
Elsewhere, auto body technicians and detailers will note a much more conventional design than the previous model, while those studying the business side of the industry may notice that GM has opted to price the new Volt from just US$38,390, which is much cheaper than the original.
Acura NSX: Supercar Resurrected as Hybrid Auto
Fans of the original Honda NSX, discontinued in 2005, will be overjoyed to find the supercar return under the Acura banner, and as a hybrid for good measure. The innovative model features one electric motor between a 3.5 litre twin turbo gas V-6 engine and the nine-speed transmission, while a further two drive each of the front wheels.
With a stylish low rider design, the luxury two-seater seems to be every inch worthy of the original NSX. But it won’t be cheap. While a price has yet to be announced, it is certain it will be in $100,000+ range.
Get a closer look at the Acura NSX Hybrid here: