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  1. #1
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    I own a Toyota Prius and I love it. However, since I am a wildlife photographer I have to have a 4x4 off-road capable vehicle for my work, and so I also have a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. I would love to replace my truck with a hybrid. Does anyone know if Toyota has plans to bring it's off-road capable vehicles (i.e. the Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, or Land Cruiser) to hybrid technology? I checked out the hybrid Highlander, but it's just not rugged enough and doesn't have enough ground clearance for the work I do.

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  3. #2
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    I feel your pain. I'm a wildlife researcher. I'm settling for the Highlander 4x4 till something better comes along.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    I have a similar problem because I do environmental consulting in difficult-to-reach areas. The solution I have is a Land Rover Discovery which I had converted to run on LPG gas, making it more fuel efficient and cutting emissions by over half. The place that sells these kits is in the UK, but there must be other places selling similar kits in other countries:
    http://www.cp-components.co.uk/

    Just in case Toyota is reading this...IF YOU BUILD A HYBRID LANDCRUISER, I'LL BUY ONE!!!

  5. #4
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    I think Toyota and Honda should be really bold and be the first companies to offer their ENTIRE product line as hybrids.

  6. #5
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    This topic has a lot in common with later posts in the "Hybrids are ugly" thread (early July 05), which ask why manufacturers aren't designing hybrids to target youth markets and first-time buyers.

    One of the best examples is the upcoming 2007 Toyoyta FJ Cruiser (non-hybrid, due in early 2006), a "reissue" of the classic off-road vehicle of the 1950s-1980s. In their press release, Toyota clearly states that they're targeting young/first-time buyers who love the outdoors. Yet hybrid technology is not an option and, according to some trades, not planned for the next several years.

    Young? Outdoors? No two words scream "hybrid" any louder. The conservation ethic of today's youth dwarfs that of previous generations- especially true when you look at kids who love the canoing, hiking, rock climbing, and on and on. And yet auto makers continue to design and price hybrids for the white collar, over-30 crowd.

    I've been on a waiting list for a non-limited Highlander Hybrid for several months, but after an agonizing wait, further research, and some serious soul-searching, I'm moving to Plan B: I can buy a Prius and 2/3 of an FJ Cruiser for the price of one Highlander Hybrid, assuming I can make it till early 2006 without a 4WD. The Prius will be our everyday, around-town vehicle and the FJ will be the "mobile field lab" for my biodiversity consulting work.

    It's a disappointing compromise, but until the auto makers see the link between 4WD, outdoors, young buyers, and alternative energy technology, I'll have to settle for one Hybrid and one 20-mpg workhorse.

  7. #6
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    This is one thing GM may have going for it... their first true hybrids will be their large machines, which is where Toyota and Honda don't have hybrids. So may people on this site say death to the SUVs and Trucks (which I'm tired of hearing), but they obviously don't hang with the crowd that buy such vehicles because they NEED them. And I think I kind of agree with GM when they say the SUVs and Trucks need the hybrid system more than the small cars that already get 30mpg...

  8. #7
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    We're looking for hybrid owners to interview for a documentary on a major cable network... and folks who own SUVs, light trucks and other big vehicles because they need them...but would buy hybrid versions if they existed.

    We will be in Texas, Virginia, Seattle, Portland, New York City area and New England area. And probably California. Let me hear from you, please!

    Email me back a bit about who you are, where you work, live, what you drive and why. I'll get right back to you. If you don't mind my calling, also give me your phone number. My email is egkent4@earthlink.net and office phone is (212) 512-5729. If I am out, please let me know a good day and time to get back to you.

    Many, many thanks,
    Ellen Kent
    Producer/Director

  9. #8
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    I've always had my doubts about hybrids being effective off-roaders. Any type of water crossing, or mud pit, would eat up any hybrid. Not to mention the fact that hybrids need braking to get the regenerative braking. For off-roading you use the low range gearing and engine braking to control speed.

  10. #9
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    You're right. I wouldn't dare take my FEH through some of the stuff I used to do with my modified Toyota 4x4 truck in 4-Lo.

    However, that's pretty extreme off-roading and I hardly ever used to do that (and I guess never will now).

    But I do go off-roading enough in less extreme conditions where AWD and decent ground clearance is a must. I also need it in Northeast winters. So far the FEH has performed equally as well, if not better in some cases, than my Toyota.

    Regarding water crossings. If it's so deep you need a snorkel, of course it won't work... neither would a normal 4x4, but I've taken mine through water over a foot deep and it's fine. The hybrids really are more "normal" in operation than many people think... especially when people worry about water (thunderstorms and even carwashes have been mentioned).

    You mention regenerative braking. Well, when you use Lo in the FEH, the "engine-braking" effect IS regenerative braking. There isn't any traditional/actual engine-braking since the CVT works differently and isn't geared directly to the ICE. Then again, it doesn't really matter since if you're off-roading, fuel-efficiency really isn't such a concern.


  11. #10
    Guest

    Hybrid 4x4/Off-Road Vehicle?

    If automakers would only listen to their customers, driving could be fun again. I drive the Honda Insight and often wonder why hybrid is not a 'standard' feature in newer cars. I would like to upsize to the FJ Cruiser but was shocked to read that it will require premium gas, and does not include hybrid technology. If Toyota wants to cater to their Scion base and attract a ready crowd for change, the FJ Cruiser could be a best seller...but only in hybrid clothing. Yes, people will buy it because it is cool and different, but environmental responsibility makes for better company image.

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