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by Michael Hines
The 2012 Paris Motor Show is filled with killer eco-friendly concepts.
Bob Dylan once said, "The times, they are a-changin'." Dylan's words ring true when it comes to the modern auto show. Today's auto shows, such as the 2012 Paris Motor Show, are filled with electric and hybrid concept cars. These concepts represent the auto industry's gradual greening. However, just because these concept cars are green, doesn't mean that they aren't awesome. The supercars and city cars featured here are some of Paris' most solid hybrid and EV reveals.
Porsche has raised the bar for wagons with its Panamera Sport Turismo concept. The conceptual wagon is a hybrid, sporting a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 333hp and a 95hp electric motor. The Panamera Sport Turismo is designed to run off of electricity-its engine needs to be switched into hybrid mode-and has a max range of 18 miles, a 0 to 62 time (in hybrid mode) of less than six seconds and an all-electric top speed over 80 mph. The charging time for the plug-in Panamera is said to be 2.5 hours. Porsche, make this happen.
Audi's Crosslane Concept is built on the fancy-sounding Multimaterial Space Frame made from aluminum, polymers reinforced by carbon fiber and fiberglass. The Crosslane Concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine mated to two electric motors. Total horsepower is rated at 177 and the concept can do 0 to 62 in 8.6 seconds in hybrid mode and 9.8 seconds in electric mode. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Crosslane is its removable targa top.
Venturi Automobiles has once again brought its electric all-electric, dune buggy-esque roadster to Paris. The America is powered by an electric engine capable of cranking out 300hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Venturi's unique roadster has three driving modes, cruising, sport and super sport. Its top speed is 124 miles and its max range is 186 miles.
Smart's Forstar is one of the most concepty concept cars at Paris. The elongated city car gets its unique name from its see-through roof which occupants to gaze at the stars. Smart's concept is powered by a 60-kW electric engine and has a top speed of 80 mph. What puts the Forstar over the top and into ridiculous territory is the movie projector integrated into its hood.
It can be safely said that the Peugeot Onyx was the star of the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The Onyx is a hybrid beast powered by a 600hp 3.7-liter V8 paired with an 80hp electric engine. The striking supercar features copper side panels and a unique-albeit Spartan-interior.