When hybrid cars first entered the market, they were lots of things, eco-friendly being the chief attribute among them. Stylish was generally not among these qualities, but this has all changed as many of today’s hottest automotive brands have finally jumped on the electric bandwagon. Porsche aims to plug in the posh Cayenne model with hybrid power at the Paris Motor Show this October. The Panamera already went through a similar hybrid makeover, and Porsche isn’t the only luxury brand providing new models in a plug-in hybrid format. The following are a few of the other most stylish plug-in hybrids to watch for this year from the likes of Cadillac and BMW
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Cadillac’s ELR will be produced in limited numbers to raise its level of prestige, and comes fully loaded with luxury features. It features Cadillac’s signature angular look, while sharing technical features with the Chevrolet Volt to boost efficiency. You can travel 35 miles in electric-only range, saving money on the commute, while the car can travel for 340 miles in combined mode.
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Ford Fusion Energi
A more stylish and spacious alternative to the Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Fusion Energi is a sleek plug-in hybrid sedan with plenty of room in the backseat and cargo area. It offers the equivalent of 100mpg, without skimping on exterior style and interior quality. It was first unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, using the same non-turbo 2-litre 4-cylinder engine supplements as the Fusion Hybrid to assist its electric motor. This allows it to deliver a total horsepower of 195, with a zippy top speed of 85mph in electric-only mode. In short, the Energi has the feel of a sports car with the practicality of a traditional hybrid.
The BMW i8 takes the plug-in hybrid experience to the supercar level, much like the Panamera and upcoming Cayenne from Porsche. With a sleek, futuristic style, the BMW i8 is bound to turn heads on the road and it has the performance stats to back up its initial impression. There’s a 170 horsepower electric motor used to power the front wheels, while the rear wheels benefit from a 230 horsepower turbocharged 1.50litre three-cylinder petrol engine. This allows the i8 to provide efficiency, speed, and power
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Volkswagen Golf GTE
Unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the new plug-in hybrid version of the popular Volkswagen Golf will offer hot hatch excitement with super-low emissions of only 35g/km of CO2. The design emphasis is on performance, with the GTE styled similarly to the Golf GTI. It retains the GTI’s aggressive air-vents and low front spoiler, while gaining a new slick set of C-shaped LED running lights. Volkswagen is also putting out a fully electric model with the release of the E-Golf.
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The Prius may not always have been associated with style, but the latest models have walked the fine line between fashion and function with ease. The new plug-in hybrid Prius is well suited to drivers with urban commutes, sliding neatly into tight parking spaces and boasting an average mileage of 75mpg. Its lasting power as one of the original hybrids has also made the Prius a more highly coveted model that holds its value well over time.
With more and more automotive manufacturers jumping on the hybrid bandwagon, we can expect to see even more fashionable new models unveiled over the next couple of years.