Few cars — let alone hybrids — can match the sex appeal of Jaguar’s C-X16 concept car. The sporty hybrid made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show, and it features a 375 horsepower, V-6 engine that Jaguar says tops out at 186 miles per, and the car reportedly accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds. “We’re using a hybrid drivetrain to make a point. Hybrids should not be the sole domain of economic, family motorcars. It can stretch into performance cars,” Jaguar lead designer Ian Callum told the LA Times.
Although many in attendance at the L.A. Auto Show had already gotten a look at the i8, BMW’s new plug-in hybrid sports car concept, the design is so futuristic, it will likely be one of the more talked-about vehicles at the show. Like its sibling, the i3, the i8 features a super-light carbon fiber body, laser headlights, and see-though doors and roof. The high-tech car can travel 250-350 miles on a single tank of gas, and BMW estimates that it can get as much as 94 miles per gallon, but when driven like the performance car that it is, that fuel economy will likely drop to the 40.4 – 56.5 mpg range.
Now here’s a car that would look right at home cruising around the Hollywood hills. But unfortunately, the e-Tron Spyder plug-in is a concept that Audi currently has no plans to bring to market. The sleek convertible features a combined diesel engine and electric motor that enables it to go 31 miles in zero-emission mode before its diesel generator takes over. According to Audi, the Spyder’s estimated fuel economy is 105 MPG — not bad for a sports car.
Earlier this year, Porsche unveiled its 2012 Panamera S hybrid, a sporty coupe that features the same gas engine-electric motor combination used in the Cayenne S Hybrid, and it also boasts a regenerative braking system that recharges the cells while braking. Pretty nifty. Porsche estimates says the car’s top speed is 167 mph, and it gets about 30 miles per gallon on highways.
While BMW’s i3 and i8 concepts command the most attention, the ActiveE is the one to keep your eye on, because it’ll soon be roaming the streets. The ActiveE is based on BMW’s 1 Series Coupe, and it has an estimated range of 100 miles per charge and a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour. A lucky few will get to lease the ActiveE next month, which should give BWM a better idea of how its batteries will hold up.
It might not be a flashy performance vehicle some of the other cars on this list, but the 2013 Honda Fit EV was one of the biggest stories at the 2011 LA Auto Show. The pint-size five-seater features a 20kWh lithium ion battery that has 123 mile range in the city. The Fit EV has three drive modes — Econ, Normal and Sport — to maximize the car’s efficiency depending on the conditions. But is it sexy? If an emissions-free car that can be charged in just three hours is your idea of sexy, then the answer is yes.