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(Porsche)
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The Green Highway ECO Drive Showcase

Listed: A full range of green vehicle options at the auto show Add to ...

This year, the Auto Show once again features an Eco Drive exhibit. Billed as “a broad spectrum of fuel-efficient and fuel-alternative vehicles for today and tomorrow,” it is strangely set in an artificial forest with the recorded sounds of tweeting birds; nevertheless it is a good display of fuel-efficient technologies available in vehicles now or in the near future.

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Here’s what you’ll see should you opt for a walk in the woods:

ADVANCED CONVENTIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Kia Rio LX + ECO: The new 1.6-litre engine has fuel-saving technology, including direct injection, an alternator decoupling pulley, electric power steering as well as a stop-start system.

Mazda3 SkyActiv: Nearly every manufacturer is adding a turbo to its gas engines to save fuel. Mazda SkyActiv skips the turbo but increases engine compression and reduces vehicle weight.

Mercedes-Benz B250: The all-new B Class features a new turbocharged 2.0-litre engine combined with a new seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and a standard stop-start system.

Subaru XV Crosstrek: Subaru is known for its boxer engines (horizontally opposed cylinders). The Subaru XV Crosstrek features the latest 2.0-litre 148 horsepower four-cylinder boxer which can tow an impressive 680 kilograms.

BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Ford Focus EV: The all-electric, zero emissions Focus EV has an instant-torque electric drive (143 hp) and a range of about 100 kilometres on a full charge.

Mitsubishi iMiEV: The least expensive all-electric car on the market today gets a full charge with a 220-volt home charger in seven hours. That will give you about 100 kilometres of smooth, silent emission-free driving.

Nissan Leaf: The comfortable all-electric Leaf can provide up to 160 kilometres on a full charge. That would be enough range for the majority of people who do daily commutes while saving, on average, $1,500 a year on fuel.

Smart fortwo electric drive: This is the best Smart ever. The Bosch-Daimler electric motor combined with the higher-capacity batteries make the Smart fortwo electric drive a great little emission-free city car.

EXTENDED RANGE HYBRIDS

Chevrolet Volt: All-electric drive takes you for 50 kilometres or so, then the efficient gas engine kicks in to keep the battery charged while you drive.

Ford C-MAX Energi: Ford’s plug-in hybrid has an electric-only range of 32 kilometres before the gas engine is required. Charge time is three hours with a 220/240-volt plug.

Prius Plug-In Hybrid: This Prius travels about 20 kilometres on an electric charge alone. After that, you’re in a normal Prius hybrid. The recharge takes two or three hours on a standard 110/120-volt household outlet.

GASOLINE HYBRID

Honda CR-Z: A sporty car equipped with a 1.5-litre, inline-four combined with an electric motor and CVT automatic gearbox.

Infiniti M35h Hybrid: A combination of a 302-horsepower 3.5-litre V-6 with a 67-horsepower electric motor in a refined package.

Volkswagen Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid: There’s a 1.4-litre, 143-horsepower turbocharged gas engine plus 27-horsepower electric motor running through a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch tranny.

CLEAN DIESEL

Porsche Cayenne Diesel: The first diesel Porsche over here has a turbocharged 3.0-litre V-6 240-horsepower oil burner that makes for a fast all-wheel-drive family hauler.

*****

So if you visit the auto show, go for a walk in the woods, listen to the birds tweeting and be happy that part of your $22 admission fee will make its way to charity.

For more Toronto AutoShow coverage, please click here.

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