Tuesday 4 December, 2012. The Green Piece Column.
The Los Angeles Auto Show opened last week and now runs to middle of next week ( December 9, 2012). The final delight of the US motoring calendar, the show is an important opportunity for the carmakers to showcase near imminent launches for the New Year and, as it’s in the heart of the eco-conscious state of California, it is also the perfect place to showcase green innovations.
With that in mind we’ve pick out our top ten of LA’s finest green cars.
Los Angeles Auto Show Top Ten Green Cars
1. BMW i concepts
Not the first time this year we’ve seen BMW’s first couple of models it has planned to launch under its electric i sub-brand, but this year the i3 supermini and i8 plug-in hybrid are joined by an i3 coupe concept model this year. Although not confirmed for production unlike the hatch model, the coupe version gives us an idea of where next the brand could go next after the i3 and i8 launch in 2013 and 2014 respectively (More info details).
2. Fiat 500 e
Sadly not one for us, just a limited production run of around 500 models are to go on sale in the US some time in the middle of the year. Presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show as a sexy alternative to boxy current alternatives, we are very sorry it won’t be more widely available, so we’ll just have to eye this one with envy (More info here).
3. Chevrolet Spark EV
Yet another tasty new EV which we won’t feel the benefit of (sob). Chevrolet says its new electric version of its popular Spark supermini will have class-leading range, beating the likes of the Nissan LEAF when it goes on sale next year in selected states. (More details).
4. Honda Accord Plug-in
Due to hit the showrooms in early 2013, the new Accord Plug-in will give the current competition something think about with a class-leading EPA rating of 115mpge despite having a limited fully electric driving range of just 10-15 miles. (More details here).
The Mazda6 is the second model in the Mazda line-up to get the Skyactiv treatment, adding a range of highly efficient, turbo-boosted engines. Set to launch in the UK in January, the new Mazda6 will emit as little as 108g/km and have combined cycle fuel economy of 67.3mpg (More info here).
6. Dodge Dart Aero
The first Dodge vehicle based on a Fiat architecture, the new Dodge is designed to give the brand an important entry into the compact sector. Making use of Fiat’s range of MultiAir engines, the new model achieves fuel economy as strong as 41mpg according to EPA highway rating (More details here).
7. Infiniti LE Concept
Having made an appearance at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn, we still can’t help but get excited to see the luxury car brand’s first electric car on display again. A ‘production-intent’ model according to Infiniti, we’re no closer to knowing an actual launch date, but nonetheless this luxury saloon cousin of the Nissan LEAF looks stunning in the showring once again (More details here).
8. Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost
The supermini Fiesta is the next model of the Ford line-up to make use of the brand’s highly efficient and yet not sluggish 1.0 EcoBoost engine. Despite an American tendency to drive large-engined vehicles, the Fiesta 1.0 litre will launch in its native country, with Ford hoping that both the engine and the car will prove that good things really do come in small packages (More details here).
9. Lexus LF-CC
Lexus’ new D-segment hybrid coupe teams a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a new hybrid system to offer more power and economy than previous hybrid models. Work to bring the car into production is expected to start next year.
10. Ford Fusion hybrid
Winner of the Green Car of the Year, this latest US-version of the Mondeo is set to launch with a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version as well as making use of that famous EcoBoost engine technology to achieve impressive fuel economy credentials. A new Mondeo is expected to launch soon in the UK too, expected around March. In the US, the hybrid model is rated 47 mpg according to EPA while the plug-in hybrid model is expected to top 100 mpg equivalent (More info here).
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