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Environmentalists may not appreciate that their most noted symbol of progress in the auto industry — the hybrid-drive system — is being used as a performance enhancer. But, as AutoWeek is reporting, new, V8-powered models in development will use their hybrid systems to preserve horsepower not natural resources. Toyota's LS 460 — to be shown in Tokyo — a recently spied Mercedes S-Class and new entries from GM and BMW, AW reports, are on the way. Will a battle for the hearts and minds of consumers ensue? Will the electric motor become next season's turbocharger? Probably so. Remember how Toyota's Volta concept, the hybrid supercar (pictured) floated that very idea at last year's Geneva show.

High-end Hybrids: Toyota s first V8-powered vehicle, Mercedes-Benz S-Class in development [AutoWeek]


NYT Rails Against Powerful Hybrids; BMW Joins Hybrid Partnership with DCX, GM; Spy Photos: 2007 Lexus LS460 [internal]

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