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Top 10 Green Cars at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

These are the top 10 green cars at the 2012 Paris Motor Show , including electric, hybrid and hydrogen technology – as well as good old diesel – which promise high fuel economy and low emissions.

1. Audi Crosslane

Audi Crosslane - 2012 Paris Motor Show

The Audi Crosslane has the potential to deliver 256.8mpg with emissions of just 26g/km CO2. This is achieved by a 3-cylinder 1.5-litre TFSI engine combined with two electric motors, delivering 177PS.

Purely electric propulsion is possible at speeds of up to 80mph for up to 53 miles. Audi gave us the Steppenwolf Concept in 2000 but never built it. In the meantime Range Rover gave us the Evoque and it’s been a huge success. The Audi Crosslane once again has the bold design of the Steppenwolf, and combined with 256mpg it should be a big success – if Audi is bold enough to build it without watering down the design styling this time round.

2. BMW Concept Active Tourer

BMW Concept Active Tourer - 2012 Paris Motor Show The BMW Concept Active Tourer is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) based on the drivetrain of the BMW i8 concept car, with fuel economy of 113mpg and CO2 emissions of less than 60g/km. It combines a new transversely mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine mounted at the front – providing front-wheel drive for the first time in a production BMW – with an electric motor driving the rear wheels.

The electric motor is capable of driving the Concept Active Tourer for almost 20 miles on battery power alone. Combined, the two power systems deliver more than 190hp. The electric motor can deliver 200Nm of torque from standstill, allowing the Concept Active Tourer to accelerate from zero to 62mph in less than eight seconds and onto a top speed of 125mph.

3. Lexus LF-CC hybrid Concept Car

Lexus LF-CC hybrid Concept Car -  2012 Paris Motor Show The Lexus LF-CC Concept Car features a new 2.5-litre full hybrid powertrain with class-leading CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, soon to be introduced in the Lexus model range.

It’s a new mid-size coupe concept that presents design and technology ideas that will influence future models, following on from the LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe concept as a more compact model with rear-wheel drive and full hybrid power. Lexus expects the powertrain to be the most efficient in its class, producing more than 2bhp per gramme of CO2.

4. Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive , with four electric motors, delivers 740hp (552 kW) and torque of 1000 Nm. This means that it’s the world’s fastest electrically-powered series production vehicle, accelerating from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, and it’s also the most powerful AMG high-performance vehicle of all time.

Mercedes-Benz also offered an initial preview of the electric future for the B-Class at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in the guise of the Concept B-Class Electric Drive, which is to be launched in 2014.

5. Nissan TeRRA hydrogen fuel cell SUV concept

Nissan TeRRA hydrogen fuel cell SUV concept The Nissan TeRRA concept is a compact SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with three electric motors for four-wheel drive.

Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor. Under the bonnet is Nissan’s hydrogen fuel cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading power density of 2.5kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.

6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - 2012 Paris Motor Show The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV and it aims to offer the best of three worlds: the environmental performance of an electric vehicle (EV), the cruising range of a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, and the on- and off-road performance of an SUV.

The Outlander PHEV uses Mitsubishi’s own Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain derived from 100% electric systems used on the i-MiEV and other Mitsubishi all-electric vehicles. MMC will introduce Outlander PHEV in the Japanese market in early 2013 then sequentially roll out the model in Europe, North America, and other markets around the world.

7. Hyundai hydrogen ix35

Hyundai hydrogen ix35 - 2012 Paris Motor Show The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is powered by hydrogen. A fuel cell stack converts the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn charges the Lithium Polymer battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor.

The only emission generated is water vapour. Hyundai will begin series production of the ix35 Fuel Cell in December 2012 with fleet deliveries beginning in 2013, with a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015, becoming the first global carmaker to begin commercial rollout of such vehicles. Hyundai has already signed contracts with cities in Denmark and Sweden to lease the ix35 Fuel Cell to municipal fleets. Beyond 2015, Hyundai plans limited mass production of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units.

8. Peugeot Onyx

peugeot-onyx.jpg The Peugeot Onyx supercar concept features HYbrid4 technology, with a 600bhp 3.7-litre V8 HDi FAP central-rear mounted engine. It is rear-wheel drive with a six-speed sequential gearbox.

The HYbrid4 technology recovers the kinetic energy which is usually lost during braking. Stored in lithium-ion batteries, this energy is then delivered automatically on acceleration, boosting the power by an additional 80bhp.

9. Infiniti LE Concept

Infiniti LE Concept - 2012 Paris Motor Show The electric Infiniti LE Concept is a compact four-door saloon that is due to be on sale in selected markets in around two years’ time – possibly along with a wireless recharging system. Its lithium-ion batteries are packaged under the floor, providing more space and contributing to the vehicle’s low centre of gravity, enhancing handling. A high performance electric motor has 100kW (134PS), along with 325Nm (240lb ft) of torque. The LE Concept’s range is expected to be around 160km.

10. Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion

volkswagen-golf-bluemotion-new.jpg The new Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion is set to return 88.3mpg on the combined cycle and emit just 85 g/km CO2. Based on the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, the new Golf BlueMotion is

set for UK launch in summer 2013.

The second-generation Golf BlueMotion returned 74.3 mpg and emissions of 99 g/km. Fuel consumption for the third Golf BlueMotion has now been reduced by another 15 per cent and CO 2 emissions by 14 g/km to a class-leading 85 g/km. The car’s combined fuel consumption has been achieved through lightweight design (including 26 kg less weight in the running gear and 37 kg less in the body), engine-related modifications and a collection of other measures.

Read our review of other recent Motor Shows:

Green Cars at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show

See our review of the
2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

See our review of the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

See our review of the 2010 Paris Motor Show

See our review of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show