For all the car lovers out there, there's excellent news from the world of automotive technology: Reducing emissions no longer means sacrificing style!
With even Jaguar and Maserati creatingor planning to createhigh performance gas/electric hybrids, the world's top automakers have combined their knowledge of luxury with cutting-edge technology to create fast, safe and stunningly beautiful vehicles. Read on to find out what our top five picks are for a luxurious, sustainable ride.
- 2015 Lexus NX 300h. Edgy, stylish, this compact hybrid puts out 194 horsepower, just 41 horsepower less than the standard engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, but there's an interesting all-wheel-drive option powered by an additional electric motor that provides the rear wheels with torque. The reviews are positive: Equipped with quality noise suppression, fine-tuned acceleration, impressive fuel economy, and human interface technology, this hybrid is expected to be popular among drivers looking for a safe yet sporty ride.
- BMW i8. First delivered to customers in Europe in June 2014, BMW's i8 is truly a feat of modern German engineering. Combining a three-cylinder gasoline engine that offers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque with an electric motor capable of generating 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the BMW i8 offers solid performance and speed. As can be expected from the luxury automaker, the i8's sleek designcomplete with scissor doorsis both elegant and functional. Overall, the BMW i8 is a powerful vehicle that offers both high-end performance and proven sustainability.
- 2014 Cadillac ELR. Unlike the other cars on this list, the 2014 Cadillac ELR runs primarily on electricity, using its standard internal combustion engine only to keep the battery powered up, while still offering a total of 157 horsepower. Overall, the Caddy is faster and can run more miles purely on electric than most hybrids, making it a great choice for drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The external design is modern and sleek, and the interior offers the combination of luxury and cutting-edge technology expected from one of the most respected automakers in the United States.
- Audi A3 Sportback E-tron. Already available in Europe and the US as of early 2015, the plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback E-tron is intended to compete with BMW's "i" series. It features a conventional internal combustion engine but can switch to zero-emissions electric power for a total of 30 miles. The reviews are very good, thanks to the vehicle's extended electric capacity, light curb weight and quick acceleration times, which make for quick and responsive maneuvering. Equally important, the A3 Sportback E-tron offers the elegant, streamlined interior and exterior design we're accustomed to from Audi.
- Porsche 918 Spyder. Just when you think Porsche has reached the pinnacle of its genius, the German automaker surprises with yet another masterpiece of engineering. The 918 Spyder has a gasoline V-8 engine as well as electric motors at both the front and rear of the vehicle, providing a total of 875 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque. The design is characteristic of the popular sports car, with one significant difference: You can plug it in to power it up. So for those looking for a hypercar with hybrid technology that looks absolutely awesome on the road, the 918 Spyder is a definite candidate!
Curbing emissions is a real challenge, and we all have to do our part. With the automotive industry's cutting-edge technology and design teams, autos as we know them are set to become even more amazing!