Top 5 Hot Green CarsBy Hanleigh Daniels 3 February 2012 | Categories: feature articles
Green cars have come a long way since the introduction of the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, Toyota’s popular Prius in 1997. These days they are every bit as desirable as their petrol-guzzling rivals and also capable of delivering phenomenal performance, not just better fuel economy. Here is our list of the Top 5 hottest green cars.
5. Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid
Volvo calls the V60 the most technically advanced model it has ever produced seeing that its front wheels are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine producing 160 kW, whilst the rear wheels get their power from a 52 kW electric motor. Equally impressive is the vast list of standard equipment on offer, including speed-dependent power steering, front and rear parking sensors and high performance multimedia DVD audio system boasting four 40 W amplifiers, eight loudspeakers and a 7" display. To round it off, a smartphone app enables the driver to, amongst others, set the climate control to pre-cool the car on a hot day or make sure you get into a toasty warm vehicle in winter.
4. Citroën DS5
From the technical V60 we change down a few gears to a very elegant, luxurious offering in the Citroën DS5. This all-wheel-drive compact executive car offers buyers a choice between numerous conventional petrol and diesel engines, or PSA Peugeot Citroën’s Hybrid4, which combines a 163 hp (about 121 kW) 2.0 HDi diesel engine with a 28 kW electric motor, sending the power to all four wheels as it is required. The electric motor can also fly solo, powering the vehicle by itself on the condition that it is sufficiently charged.
3. Lexus LF-LC Sporty 2+2 Hybrid Coupe concept
The front-engine, rear-wheel drive LF-LC Sporty 2+2 Hybrid Coupe concept might have an underwhelming name, but its aggressively styled angular looks and futuristic interior more than make up for this. With driver input via a touchscreen control board on the center console, it enables the driver or front passenger to control the audio system, change the climate control settings or enter a destination for the satnav. Besides the touch-enabled control board, there are touchscreen controls located on each door to perform functions like operate the windows, make seat adjustments and access the infotainment system.
2. BMW ActiveHybrid 5
One of the most famous brands in motoring, BMW, is renowned for its sporty, executive saloons and M badge boasting sports cars. However, the German car maker is also responsible for some gorgeous eco cars, as illustrated by the BMW i8 concept that featured in Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol. Changing lanes from the conceptual field to reality is the ActiveHybrid 5, powered by a turbo charged three liter straight-six that in combination with an electric motor, delivers 250 kW that propels this sedan to 100 km per hour in less than six seconds and to a regulated top speed of 250 km/h. All this while managing under six and a half liters per 100 km. This is one hybrid you can expect to pass you on the N1 during Q2 of this year.
1. Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid
Porsche’s sublime looking plug-in supercar delivers more power (around 521 kW) from its high-revving V8 engine, assisted by two electric motors, than the conventionally powered Porsche 911 Turbo S (390 kW). It is quicker than the Turbo S (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, top speed of 315 km/h), being capable of a top speed of 320+ km/h and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.2 seconds. Even with this phenomenal performance figures this eco car will deliver fuel consumption of just three litres per 100 km and CO² emissions of 70 g/km. Fans unfortunately have to wait a bit longer for this Hybrid to hit the roads, since it will only see the light of day in the US at the end of 2013.
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