The usual suspects impress with eco-friendly cars

Ford, Volkswagen and Smart reveal their newest green cars at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday.

Ford Fusion Energi

FORD 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is one sexy car. It was revealed to a chorus of oohs and aahs. This plug-in hybrid can get up to 100 mpg! There are plenty of goodies on the inside, too, such as Sync voice control, a blind-spot monitor, and an automatic parallel parking system. (It’s like the Jetsons!) I, personally, wouldn’t trust the latter but it’s nice to know that it’s there.

How much does it cost? That depends on the platform that you get. Ford has made the car customizable, offering five power trains to choose from.

Volkswagen E-Bugster

VOLKSWAGEN Volkswagen was also at the show presenting the E-Bugster. The vehicle is clearly a more grownup version of the Beetle, boasting 114 horsepower from its electric motor and a 659-pound lithium-ion battery. Drive 100 miles before you think about a charging station. When you need to recharge, you can charge up to 80% of the battery in as little as 30 minutes. LED Headlights and a tablet PC are icing on the cake. Too bad the name is such a tough sale.

SMART Smart is not a tough sell. Even with a pleasant name, I don’ t know how the Southern market will receive the vehicle. It’s called the For-Us Mini Pickup. Most of us think “…like pickup truck? It looks like a golf cart. Where is the truck bed?”It’s not that kind of pickup.

Smart For-Us

The For-Us is intended for off road action. The interior is spacious (considering) and you can explore nearly 90 miles before stopping to refuel. It can go 0-60 in five seconds but taps out at 75 mph. A lithium-ion battery and magneto-electric propel the vehicle.

Most Smarts don’t sell well below the Mason-Dixon line but maybe this hip, off road beauty will touch the rugged hearts of Southerners more than the manufacture’s predecessors.

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