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The Chevrolet Volt Electric Car

An "electric" concept car due here in 2012: the Star of the Sydney International Motor Show?

By Ross Tester

The Sydney International Motor Show has come and gone, under a blaze of spotlights and almost continual buffing fingerprints off paintwork and glass. Of course, the Ferraris and Lamborghinis earned lots of "oohs" and "aahs" from the admiring crowds (and probably thoughts of "when I win Lotto . . .").

Click for larger image
The small tank on the left is the fuel tank for the on-board generator. It sits on top of the rail containing the top of the battery bank.

But it was the more everyday, perhaps even prosaic vehicles which attracted the most attention. Maybe it was the economic climate There was plenty for the rev-heads but this year the theme seemed to be a definite shade of light about 550nm in wavelength (OK, green for the uninitiated). Many manufacturers featured small, efficient diesels (remember not too long ago when "Diesel" was a dirty word?).

Hybrids also seemed to be the order of the day, with several manufacturers offering their particular variants. The Toyota stand had them stacked up the wall and sitting at 45°angles, as well as rotating in front of you. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive (Oh What a Feeling!) was everywhere, even in the flashing LED and LCD signs (printed signs, such as featured on the Ford display next door, are so passé). But there was little to differentiate the new Camry’s propulsion system from the new Prius propulsion system. It’s a hybrid.

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