Hybrid on-demand AWD systems
Seen on: Lexus RX400h and 450h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid
How they work: While the all-wheel-drive system in most crossovers is a standard on-demand type, a few hybrid crossovers take advantage of their electrification to add AWD in a novel manner: with a second electric motor. Lexus' RX400h was the first to play this trick, adding an electric motor to the rear axle to add on-demand all-wheel drive without a physical connection to the gasoline motor.
Advantages: Increased fuel economy, increased braking regeneration from second motor, lack of center driveshaft potentially opens more cabin space
May 23, 2011 7:45 PM PDT
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CNET
| Caption by: Antuan Goodwin
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