Just because you care about Mother Earth shouldn’t deny you the privilege of cruising around town in a sophisticated ride. If you plan to do some car shopping next year, one of these luxury hybrids may suit your fancy (provided you’ve got a fat wallet).
Audi A3, A4 and Q7 Hybrid Plug-Ins
The Inside Scoop: Audi is already recognized as a worldwide leader in electric car manufacturing, so it’s no surprise that three of the German automaker plans to release hybrid versions of three of its most popular models – the A3 (small family car), A4 (compact car) and Q7 (SUV) – sometime in 2014. The A3 is slated to debut first, followed by the other two – and Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler told Green Car Report that the company’s goal is to offer a hybrid version in every segment by 2020.
Bentley EXP 9 F
The Inside Scoop: According to HybridCARS.com, the EXP 9 F can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in less than five seconds and boasts a fuel economy of nearly 19 miles all-electric range – not bad for an SUV. Early tests also indicate that the model will only emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The bad news: we may have to wait awhile for this one, since production is expected to begin in late 2014 (with a 2015 release).
BMW i8 Coupe
The Inside Scoop: Hailed as the “most innovative BMW sports car of recent times” by our friends at CarScoop, the i8 Coupe could be seen driven by Tom Cruise in last year’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This forthcoming model will be outfitted with a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that boasts 217 horsepower and a fuel economy of more than 78 miles per gallon. The i8 Couple is also lightweight, thanks to a carbon-fiber skeleton frame.
Ferrari F70 Hybrid The Inside Scoop: PRWeb recently announced that Ferrari plans to introduce the F70 hybrid – the company’s first hybrid-drive car – sometime next year. This car (like most other Ferraris) is a thing of absolute beauty – twin electric motors and a 7.3-liter V12 combustion engine that “create a combined delivery of approximately 1,000 horsepower”. But just so we’re clear, the reports also indicate a projected sticker price of $850,000.
Lexus IS 250h
The Inside Scoop: According to World Car Fans, a hybrid version of the 2014 IS 250 will be available. But that’s not all. Rumor has it that the model will feature with a turbocharged, direct-injected, 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson engine that can reach 200 horsepower. The model earns additional points for fuel economy (56 miles per gallon) and low CO2 emission levels (100 grams per kilometer). The IS 250h is slated for release in late 2013.
Mercedes C-Class and S-Class Hybrids
The Inside Scoop: Early reports indicate that hybrid versions of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (compact car) and S-Class (sedan) will debut in Stuttgart sometime next year. According to Auto Guide, the C-Class hybrid will be the first small Benz to feature this type of drive train (assuming everything goes to plan). As for the S-Class hybrid – Car and Driver expects it to closely follow the look and feel of the S400 hybrid, which debuted in 2010 and has since become a huge success worldwide (especially in China).
Porsche Plug-in Cayenne e-Hybrid
The Inside Scoop: The Cayenne debuted as a hybrid model in 2009 to rave reviews. Now, Motor Trend reports the German automaker plans to unveil the Cayenne Plug-In e-Hybrid sometime in 2014. This model will be similar to earlier Cayenne hybrids, but more powerful and capacious. The range of the car’s 10-kilowatt per hour lithium-ion battery is yet unknown, but a smartphone app will eventually be available that allows drivers to control and monitor charge levels.
Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid
The Inside Scoop: Last year, Volvo produced 1,000 units of the V60 Plug-In Hybrid – the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid. It’s safe to say things went well, because each one of them was sold by September 2012 – and now, HybridCARS.com reports that the Swedish automaker plans to manufacture 4,000 and 6,000 models for the 2014 generation. The V60 boasts some truly astounding characteristics, such as a fuel economy of 124 miles per gallon and a 285 HP combined power train.
By Brad Nehring