Jay Leno Gives Thumbs Up To Via Motors Plug-In VTRUX

Two well-regarded “car guys,” Jay Leno and Bob Lutz recently reviewed a 100 mpg Via Motors VTRUX on “Jay Leno’s Garage,” with the truck being heartily endorsed following a test drive.

“This is what the future is,” said Leno of the plug-in hybrid which uses a 4.6-liter six-cylinder generator plus 24-kwh battery and electric motor powertrain that’s very similar to the Chevy Volt in concept. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Lutz explained the Oregon-based startup is in “beta” stage and “we’re getting a very heavy demand from fleets,” he said of bottom-line focused buyers who see the value proposition.

Companies including PG&E “and a host of others” are signing on, Lutz said, and are even willing to accept the occasional bug if one arises, in order to be early adapters.

The truck costs somewhere around $79,000 depending on the order, and Lutz said Via is about 8-9 months away from doing volume business, and full size vans and SUVs are also in the works besides the 2- or 4-wheel drive pickups.

“Monthly fuel savings more than compensates for the higher cost of the trucks,” Lutz said, and Leno offered solid praise for both the truck concept he’s helping to promote and Lutz personally of whom Leno said “whatever he’s involved with I try to get in on the ground floor.”

Via Motors Blog, Jay Leno’s Garage


  • mark simpson

    this looks a lot like razor tech, is it?

  • Al Bunzel

    Interesting how VIA went for a 4.6 Liter six cylinder powered generator set and a 24kwh battery. I would be interested to know why they chose this combination of configurations and what were the design restrictions they worked with.

    I would have gone for a much larger battery pack (a truck like that has the space for more batteries) and a smaller, lighter internal combustion engine – maybe something like a 4 cylinder turbo running on CNG. With a smaller engine, there is less “dead” weight being hauled around, especially considering that gas engine will not be used all the time.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    $79,000? That’s a lot of money for this.