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2012 Paris Motor Show: Hybrid & Fuel Efficient Cars

02 Oct 2012 at 16:44

The 2012 Paris Motor Show was a veritable feast for the eco-focused car enthusiast. This year, there were two main trends that emerged from the show floor.

First of all, the full-on efficiency-led drive was apparent. Two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles producing absolutely no emissions other than pure water stole the show for the greenest offerings (and they were both SUVs) – the Nissan TeRRA concept and the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.

Following in their ever-so-clean wake were the likes of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and the Audi Crosslane coupe.

The electric B-Class delivers similar power to the standard diesel compact MPV, and although with a zero tailpipe emissions range of 124 miles on a full charge it’s not quite as practical as the normal car, it’s not a bad start.

Audi’s Crosslane coupe concept – previewing a smaller SUV model – shows conventional can be environmentally credible, too. Its small 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine and electric motor setup produces a combined 177hp but will complete 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds. More importantly, it’ll return a staggering 256.8mpg combined with just 26g/km CO2 emissions. That’s from a petrol-hybrid. Amazing.

The above vehicles are just a few of the exponents of a leaner, greener strategy shown at Paris. But there was a flip side. A side that proved greener can be meaner.

Take the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive (the German firm was rolling out its electric vehicle plans in a big way). The car’s four electric motors produce 750hp – a full 179hp more than the standard 6.2-litre V8-engined version of Merc’s supercar. 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and yours for around £320,000 in June next year.

It wasn’t just out-there electric supercars that proved greener can mean more go, however. Porsche revealed its Sport Turismo concept, previewing what a Panamera shooting brake might look like, as well as the next generation of the four-door car.

It uses a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine supplemented by an electric motor – which means it makes more power than the regular car – averaging over 80mpg and emitting only 82g/km CO2 in the process.

This year’s Paris Motor Show proved it: going green doesn’t mean you have to go boring. Environmentally friendly cars are flourishing in the modern automotive world – allowing our environment to continue to do the same.