SOURCE: Road & Track

February 16, 2010 15:28 ET

Road & Track® Reveals Five Types of Hybrid Car Buyers

From 'Statement Makers' to 'Techies,' the Magazine's March Issue Offers Insight Into Who Buys Hybrids and Why

NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - February 16, 2010) - In its March 2010 issue, Road & Track reveals five types of hybrid car buyers, each with their own distinct attraction to hybrid car ownership. The article, "Hybrids: Perception vs. Reality," joins a line-up of in-depth commentary in the magazine's latest issue -- on newsstands now -- aimed at evaluating existing propulsion technologies, such as hybrids, diesels and increasingly fuel efficient gasoline powered engines, as well as the shape of powertrains to come.


According to Road & Track's Engineering Editor, Dennis Simanaitis, 'Firsties' are early adopters who gain real pleasure in being pioneers. They were the first digital camera enthusiasts and the first to own the latest and greatest in cell phone gadgetries. These groundbreakers are willing to pay significant premiums to be the first on their block to purchase hybrid car technologies. Would they buy another hybrid? Probably not. That's so 20th century.


Techies (as their name implies) love technology. According to Simanaitis, these hybrid car buyers are "deeply knowledgeable and intensely compelled" when it comes to the sheer complexity and seamless interaction of gasoline engines and electric motors. Techies are likely to buy future generations of hybrids, so long as those newer technologies are indeed better.


Greens have a great respect for -- and a great knowledge of -- the environment. They view the automobile as somewhat of an afterthought or a means to "mobility they feel they need but don't particularly enthuse over," says Simanaitis. A Green's enthusiasm for hybrids can be either inward, with a personal satisfaction for saving the environment, or outward, where others are witness to and can share in that same commitment.

Statement Makers

Not only are Statement Makers aware of their position in society, they feel they are what they drive. Whether they're celebrities or members of the ordinary motoring public, Simanaitis says these types of hybrid car purchasers are "largely outwardly motivated," or image conscious car owners who would be disappointed if their hybrid didn't stand out from the rest of the non-hybrid pack. 


From fuel economy to maintenance and repair costs to the time it will take to recoup a hybrid's premium price in fuel savings, Pencil-Outers care about the bottom line of hybrid cars. Motivated by the sheer economics of their mobility, these purchasers also pay close attention to things like political implications and energy independence. "Not unlike the Techie, the Pencil-Outer is inwardly motivated, only in this case, it's a matter of pocketbook, not textbook," says Simanaitis.

For the full article, and to read more about the revolution of propulsion technology, such as the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics and full-electric Audi e-Tron concepts, pick up the March 2010 of Road & Track today.

About Road & Track
Road & Track ( is the longest-running and most trusted automotive magazine in the United States. The magazine is written for the automotive enthusiast and contains information about cars and driving blended with wide-ranging feature stories, entertainment and racing coverage. Road & Track's road tests and comparison tests are the most complete and technically accurate in the industry, focusing primarily on domestic and imported sports cars and sports sedans that are a cut above the ordinary in performance, handling, engineering and efficiency -- cars that are above all, fun to drive.

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