The 2017 Detroit Auto Show and Consumer Electronics Show have just revealed the newest lineup of green cars for the year. This year’s group focuses on connectivity, attractive design, and improved value for technology. As the rush toward our post-gas future intensifies, automakers are now aiming for reproduction capability and turning EPA ratings into real-world results. To keep you up to date on the raging eco race, here is our list of the most sensible green cars and sexiest concept models of 2017.
- Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active
VW has experienced some backlash from its less-than-eco-friendly cars, and it looks like the carmaker is ready to make amends. Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, the Tiguan GTE is related to the popular plug-in Golf GTE sold in Europe. This beast has two electric motors fed by a 148-hp gasoline engine and a 12.4-kWh battery, says Car and Driver, with the battery and fuel tank working together to produce an expected range of 580 miles. It’s a promising concept that the company hopes will take off in the sport and family markets in the near future.
- Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid
While other carmakers are busy demonstrating that green can be sexy, Chrysler is approaching eco-tech from a practical angle. The Pacifica hybrid minivan has already won the “Utility of the Year” award at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show and MotorWeek’s 2017 Drivers’ Choice Award for “Best Minivan.” Designed to fit the whole family’s football gear and the dog too, this minivan can drive up to 53km on a single charge and has a full driving range of up to 911km on a full tank and charge, says Chrysler.
- 2017 Ford Fusion Energi
Ford is now offering an updated design on its Fusion models, subbing in a 118-hp electric motor and 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that produces a maximum power output of 195 horsepower, says Car and Driver. The car’s claim to fame is its larger battery pack, which can run 21 miles on electric power when fully charged. Business Insider says Ford confirmed it is planning to add Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa into the car to allow drivers to lock or start the car remotely, check the weather, play audiobooks, and more. With its superior connectivity and attractive design, the Fusion Energi is one sexy sedan!
- 2017 Chevy Bolt EV
The Chevy Bolt EV started off 2017 by winning the Detroit Auto Show’s “North American Car of the Year” award and has been praised for making a big jump forward in both technology and value. Its starting price is $37,495, making it the most affordable long-range electric vehicle available today, says AutoBlog. This cute and sporty hatchback is also EPA-certified to drive 238 miles (383 km) on a single charge and is packed with touch screens and efficiency tracking technology that will prove genuinely useful while driving.
- BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid
BMW’s new hybrid looks familiar but is seriously updated under its hood. To satisfy your need for speed, the car’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 180-hp engine works with the 87-hp electric motor/generator to produce a total power output of 248 hp. The rest of the tech functions like a standard hybrid, says Car and Driver: on a full charge the 330e runs as an EV only for a few miles and then keeps the engine running and the generator charging the battery. In short, the 330e is a classic BMW in the hybrid world: fast, luxurious, and a nice high end sedan for those who can afford it.
- 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
The Prius was the first name in green car technology for years- but now the Prime is upping the game. According to Car and Driver, its new 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery has twice the energy capacity of the Prius hybrid’s battery. With its 22-mile electric range doubling that of the Prius, top speed of 84mph, and 600-mile range with a full charge and tank, the Prime brings significant improvements to the real-world driving experience. Adding to standard connectivity options, the Prime also packs a smartphone app that allows drivers to check the charging schedule, locate public chargers, connect to social media, and more. With its autonomous Intelligent Parking Assistant, Prime is a major contender for consumers’ hearts.
- Audi H-Tron Quattro
Audi’s newest concept vehicle is cleaner than the e-tron Quattro and is ready to challenge your conceptions about electric cars. Sleek design? Check. Four-minute charging time and 370-mile driving range? Check and check. According to Car and Driver, the h-tron also has solar panels on its roof that generate 320 watts of electricity, which Audi claims will translate to 621 free miles of range each year. With its futuristic but practical tech and streamlined design, the car’s 2020 release date can’t come soon enough.
- Lexus LF-FC Hydrogen Car
Lexus’s sleek and futuristic concept car is designed with sport in mind. Its hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain distributes power with one motor driving the rear and two in-wheel electric motors driving the front. This unique drive system distributes torque among the four wheels for increased road stability and “exceptional dynamic handling,” says Lexus. The Lexus LF-FC sedan also offers autonomous driving functions and a holographic gesture-controlled infotainment system that’s just too cool. According to Autocar, this concept car is “a peek into the design and technology direction of the brand’s future.” Lexus definitely got our attention with this one.
- 2017 Tesla Model X
Elon Musk just keeps pushing the envelope. The Tesla Model X SUV can fit seven seats, has a hatchback and a front and rear trunk, but it does have slightly less storage space compared to others in its class. Yet it can also tow up to 5,000 lbs of weight and uses Tesla’s US-wide Supercharger network to recharge batteries along the highway for free, says US News. While this may seem like the dad car of the future, the Model X’s design still manages to set our hearts a-flutter. With its gull wing rear doors and even the base model’s ability to hit 60mph in 6 seconds, this is one dreamy dragster in disguise.
- Mercedes EQ Electric SUV
This concept car has been making some serious waves. Mercedes’s new EQ range’s flagship car is designed as an all-electric, all-wheel drive SUV with a range of 310 miles per charge and a large 24-inch display stretching across the dashboard. The most exciting prospect is that Mercedes has announced it will partner with chipmaker Nvidia to bring an AI-powered car on the market by 2018, reports [Business Insider] (http://www.businessinsider.com/ces-2017-car-tech-concept-cars-2017-1/#mercedes-had-its-all-electric-suv-called-the-eq-on-display-and-announced-a-partnership-with-nvidia-for-an-ai-powered-car-5). According to Verge, Generation EQ aims to fuse the four pillars of future mobility: "Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric." This is one to watch.