The latest in the CocoEco series- full background here…
We think eco-friendly vehicles have gotten a bum rap, aesthetically. The butt of countless jokes on The Simpsons, they’re certainly better for the planet, but some folks still consider driving one to be a legitimate form of birth control. While there have been some vehicles over the years that have rightfully earned that designation, the tide is definitely turning- this month, we bring you a veritable orgy of vehicles sure to make hearts beat faster:
One of the most highly-anticipated vehicles of the year, the Karma is a series plug-in hybrid, running for 50 miles on battery power with two electric motors producing 403hp. After that, a 2-liter direct inject gasoline engine kicks in, providing “unlimited” range as long as you’re near a gas station. Henrik Fisker has spent his career designing cars for the likes of Aston Martin; the unabashedly sexy Karma (and it’s sister model, the Sunset convertible) reflect it. Starting at $87,900 and due to be delivered in June 2010, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one. With 1,400 orders already taken, however, we might just have to get in line.
BMW has long been a benchmark of style and refinement; now, it seeks to introduce the fuel long-favored in Europe for its efficiency to the US with its “clean diesel” technology. A 3.0 liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine provide 23/26mpg, while the higher torque of the diesel engine allows the, um, thrust, of a larger gasoline engine. With a base price of $43,900 and legal in all 50 states (though using biodiesel will likely void your warranty), the 335d is sure to get Americans thinking a little differently about diesel.
Tesla Roadster 2.0 and Model S–
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, recently announced to Bloomberg viewers that driving a Tesla was the surest way to get a date- we think it can’t possibly hurt. To their credit, Tesla Motors shattered the golf cart myth with the introduction of the Roadster in 2006, and is now delivering the 2010 Roadster 2.0, a slightly refined version of the $109,000, 244-mile range, 0-60 in 3.9 second pocket rocket. With over 1,000 orders and a delivery date still 2+ years away, the 4-door, $57,400 (base) eco-sleek Model S might be even hotter.
There’s little arguing that the garnet-colored, teardrop shaped Clarity is one of the best looking cars on the road- of any fuel. Sleek and refined, with an interior tastefully crafted of petroleum free resins and bio-based fabrics, it is the very definition of compelling. It’s hydrogen fuel cell powerplant also renders it obscenely expensive to make (Honda won’t specify costs, but the $600/mo to lease one of only 200 made for 3 years is a downright bargain) and inconvenient to refuel. What we’re most excited about with the Clarity, however, is the potential- a plug-in hybrid with that skin and a Honda nameplate would be very tough to beat.
We had to include an honorable mention for the name alone. This Monaco-based electric vehicle sports 150 miles of range and a top speed of 100mph, but at a cost of 297,000 Euros (approx $425,000) and a production limit of 25 vehicles, you probably won’t see too many on the road. Still, we have to appreciate a company that boldly states where others merely hint.