Marvellous top-of-the-range Lexus: The LS

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B M W to extend
range in the luxury seg-
ment to attack arch-
enemy Mercedes

M a y b a c h consider several options - but none of them is likely to come out one day

M a s e r a t i are thinking over smaller premium models to rival BMW and Jaguar

B u g a t t i were rumoured to launch a further model. We did not believe it!

P o r s c h e are going to launch a fourth model line! We dared a predic-
tion regarding its en-
gine range!

While Toyota are reputed to be a pio-
neer of the hybrid technology, which has made big impact mainly in the USA, the Germans seem to be fallen behind when it comes to environmentally friendly cars. The truth is a bit different, they had been presenting hybrid vehicles many years before the Prius caused a stir. (Porsche showcased it first in 1901 at Paris) Only problem: Germany's auto bosses did not believe in this concept.

There's a clear advantage of it in city traffic, however, on long distances, diesel technology is superior to the combination of electro and petrol motor. Sad thing, there are hundreds of thousands of miles of country roads in the USA - but petrol was too cheap to persuade the Americans of a fuel saving approach! Exactly that's going to change in the moment. But before this, any attempts to establish self-combustion engines on cars in North America failed which was why Toyota alone took credit as an innovative producer of green automobiles with their hybrids.

The counter attack of the Germans is consequently making the diesel concept popular there. They even collaborated to achieve this goal. Although this co-operations came to grief, they constantly come closer to their aim; Toyota may not be happy about that! While many Japanese companies were rumoured to prepare such offerings for this market too, Toyota pretended to hold off their diesel horse power from the world's biggest auto market.

Of course, joining the diesel campaign means supporting the Teutonic attack on themselves. On the other hand, in case diesel cars are becoming a new trend, Toyota would stand there as a laggard - which would be an ugly black blot on the company's green image. Now reports say Nippon's number one motor company have decided to offer diesel options in the 'new world' too.

VW and Daimler might have got a minor lead over the rest of the world in this technology but Toyota have immense resources at their disposal to make up leeway easily. For the Americans, the issue is more tricky when their folks get keen on the automotive self-ignition. Ford and GM can fall back on the diesel aggregates of their European divisions and Chrysler may still use the ones of Mercedes-Benz on their vehicles however, in spite of that, this fashion would mean further
efforts for Detroit's financially tarnished dinosaurs.

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