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NAIAS 2013: The VIA X-Truck, An 800 Horsepower Plug-In Hybrid

The name Bob Lutz is no doubt familiar to those of you who closely follow the auto industry, but for the rest of you, know that he is considered the father of the Chevy Volt. Lutz left GM after a long and storied career, though he now finds himself heading VIA, a plug-in hybrid truck company which recently unveiled an 800 horsepower concept called the X-Truck.

VIA has been around for a few years, promoting its $79,000 hybrid pickup trucks as solutions for commercial truck fleets. Based on GM vehicles like the Chevy Silverado and Express Van, VIA adds large battery packs that power electric motors, which are in turn charged by an onboard gasoline engine. The X-Truck uses this same premise, but takes it to the next level.

Rather than one 402 horsepower electric motor, the VIA X-Truck has two, powered by a 24 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack. The generator engine in this case is a 5.3 liter V8 engine, and VIA claims that the X-Truck has a 35-mile all-electric range before the generator kicks in once the battery reaches a 20% charge. MPG numbers with the generator on weren’t mentioned, but it’ll no doubt be better than your standard gas-powered pickup. Oh, and 800 horsepower, because race truck.
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