Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Future cars are on the cutting edge of technology and performance, designed with horsepower and energy efficiency in mind to create beautiful ecofriendly machines.

Auto manufacturers are finally rolling out vehicles that are truly the answer to the fossil fuel conundrum. The cars of the future also have a focus on power, luxury and stylishness.

Ecofriendly Cars

As gasoline prices continue to rise, most drivers would love a car that is cheap on gas but still fun to drive. Auto manufacturers are creating cars that are hybrid, electric or truly emissions-free.

#1 – Honda FCX Clarity

This zero emissions vehicle is truly an innovation- it has a hydrogen tank located on the undercarriage of the car. Hydrogen mixes with oxygen to create electricity to power the electric motor. The only emission generated is water.

Honda claims that the FCX Clarity gets the equivalent of 61 mpg. Refueling would be completed at a designated station; Honda hopes to add the possibility of home refueling stations in the future. Honda is testing the models with select buyers in Southern California over the next few years.

#2 – Chevy Spark

While not an electric or hybrid, the tiny 2013 Spark should get around 46 mpg. Already available in Europe, the subcompact Spark will be available in the United States by summer 2012 with marketing targeted towards urban dwellers. With a 1.2 L, 80 horsepower engine, the Spark will be the smallest car offered by Chevy and offered in a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

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Electric Cars

Electric cars use no gas whatsoever; drivers can charge up at home or at a number of ever-growing charging stations. While some power has to be exchanged for the green technology, auto makers are coming closer to achieving a perfect blend that will appease environmentalists and gear heads alike.

#3 – BMW ActiveE

Synonymous with quality and in luxury, BMW has come out with an electric vehicle. They have already started the online reservation process to choose field testers for the ActiveE. This two door coupe can be recharged at home in four to five hours on a special 230 volt wall box that must be professionally installed. BMW claims that the ActiveE’s travel range per charge is approximately 100 miles!

The ActiveE Power is loaded with power saving technology such as Brake Energy Regeneration and driver-controlled efficiency options. A rear wheel drive vehicle with a 170 horsepower engine, BMW claims that the ActiveE can go from zero to 60 km/h (37 mph) in 4.5 seconds, reach 97 km/h (60 mph) in nine seconds, and has a top speed of 145 km/h or about 90 mph.

#4 – Honda Fit EV

Motor Trend announced that Honda delivered its 2013 Honda Fit EV models to market testing cities in California in late January, 2012; testers include Stanford University, Google and a mayor. With Honda’s claim of a recharge time of three hours using a 240 volt charger, 76 miles to a charge and three different modes of driving, the Fit EV beats out competitors in the compact hybrid category.

The Fit EV resembles the popular Honda Civic Hatchback and has a MSRP of $37,395. Sales will start on the West Coast in 2013.

Hybrid Cars

Hybrid vehicles use a mixture of gasoline and electricity. They combine the versatility of gas with the economy of electricity.

#5 – Cadillac ELR Coupe

Based on an earlier Converj concept car, this four passenger coupe from the American luxury auto maker is a combination of fuel efficiency and Cadillac extravagance. A lithium ion battery provides electricity for the ELR, making it the major source of power in the vehicle. When the battery runs low, the ELR features a four cylinder, gas powered generator which recharges the battery.

The front of the ELR Coupe sports the vast Cadillac signature grill, and the hood of the car arches back in one smooth line to increase aerodynamics. The vehicles is rumored to be in production for a 2014 model.

#6 – Ford C-MAX Energi

Ford has introduced its first line of hybrid vehicles with the C-MAX models. The C-MAX Energi utilizes both electric and gas energy. The engine runs primarily on electricity stored in a lithium ion battery, but a combination of gas and electricity takes over once the battery begins running low. A nice feature is that the driver can choose which mode to drive in: electric, hybrid or gas only.

The Energi has a SmartGauge LCD screen which displays fuel efficiency visually through both number readouts and an image of growing vines and leaves. Ford claims that the hybrid has a range of 500 miles between its battery and fuel tank. The four door Energi seats five people, making it a good choice for families and is planned to be released in the fall of 2012.

#7 – Toyota Prius C

Toyota presented the Prius C, a plugless hybrid, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. Motor Trend reports that the Prius C’s 1.5L engine puts out 99 total horsepower, and Toyota boasts that the hybrid gets 53 mpg for city driving and 46 mpg for highway driving.

The Prius C also features Eco and Normal modes for the driver to control the method of driving. With four doors and an overall length of 157.3 inches, the Prius C is likely to be marketed to singles and families alike who live in cities.

Performance Cars

While energy efficiency is nice, some drivers are looking for a roaring machine that has a lot of muscle and high octane in its veins. Here are some cars of the future that are sleek, sporty and fast!

#8 – Acura NSX

Nissan has brought back its flagship sports car. There has been much fanfare surrounding the Acura NSX’s debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit along with Super Bowl commercial starring automobile enthusiasts Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

Slated for production in 2015, the new Nissan NSX boasts a sleek look and a lot of mystery. Motor Trend puts the engine at a V6 that will be either a 3.5L or 3.7L engine. According to Acura, a hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive system will help the NSX to achieve approximately 400 horsepower and a touch of fuel economy for every day driving.

#9 – Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible

Corvette is revitalizing the classic 1960s Corvette named after its large 427 cubic inch engine to mark its 60 year anniversary. Set to be available in summer 2012, the 427 boasts a 7.0L V8 engine with 505 horsepower and 470 lbs. of torque.

Chevy claims it is the highest performing Corvette Convertible ever created on its production lines. Its six speed manual transmission pushes the 427 from zero to sixty in 3.8 seconds and reaches speeds over 190 mph. Road & Track estimates that the sticker price will be around $100,000 when the 427 Convertible comes out, but the first 2013 was auctioned in January for charity at the Barrett-Jackson vehicle auction in Arizona for $600,000.

#10 – Lexus GS 450h

Luxury meets fuel economy and embarks on a whirlwind romance in the Lexus 2013 GS 450h. Available in May 2012, the GS 450h gets 338 total system horsepower with a fairly efficient 34 mpg on the highway. It is all achieved with a 3.5L hybrid engine that Lexus brags provides the power of a V8 with the fuel efficiency of a compact car.

The four door sedan offers five different drive modes to accommodate a driver’s desire for fuel efficiency, power, or both. More than likely, the power mode will be needed to achieve Lexus’ claim of zero to sixty in 5.6 seconds.

Are you looking to save money or save the environment by driving an energy efficient vehicle? Then you’ll be pleased that the future of alternative fuel vehicles is fast becoming reality. Fast cars will always have a place in the hearts of car enthusiasts, so it’s now up to the manufacturers to find the balance between economy and horsepower that will make low emissions driving fun!