Green Update: More EVs and Hybrids Coming
Audi’s E-tron is coming into production later this year as an R8 with four electric motors to give you 313 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. You can probably get this thing on a limited lease, but if you’ve got the bread, you can buy this sled.
promises a top speed of 198 m.p.h., fuel economy exceeding 70 m.p.g. and lower carbon emissions than a Prius. Between its race-bred V-8 and electric motors, the plug-in Porsche will kick out roughly 730 horsepower and is said to be capable of 0-to-60 m.p.h. acceleration in just 3.2 seconds, yet travel up to 25 miles on electricity.
More German stuff at slightly lower cost: BMW’s ActiveE (photo above) has been made available to a lucky few (700) on the coasts for testing. One report praises the car for its “near-gymnastic dexterity” and its remarkable braking system that applies progressive and strong braking force as you take your foot off the accelerator. This is called “one-pedal drive,” and could be the future for EVs.
The best of the new stuff looks to be the Ford C-Max Energi, a plug-in coming in the fall. It’s a gas-and-electric combo, like the Volt, and claims a 500-mile range. But unlike the Volt, it will use gas and electric together for something like 93 mpge. Or gas only, or electric only. Seats 5. And the Energi configuration is coming to the 2013 Fusion.
For the most fuel-efficient car in America, look to the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, which was rated at 113 mpge, beating the Leaf. You can go 76 miles on a full charge and recharge in four hours (at 240 volts).
Finally, Volkswagen will be showing its Cross Coupé (right), which isn’t a coupé but a 4-door crossover claiming 130 mpg (European standards) and 300 hp—all of which comes from a TDI diesel and two electric motors. Top speed is reported to be 136 mph.
Are any of these cars particularly interesting to you—either as future purchases or for their technical features?