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2010 Geneva Motor Show

Amidst the photographers and journalists, the 2010 Geneva Motor show opened up to display the usual hot rods and wildly designed concepts by high-end motor companies. Lamborghini, Bentley, Lotus, Jaguar, and Maserati were among the many to display their latest high-performance automotive artwork. Yet there was another breed of vehicles on display today: the average-Joe’s, the grocery-getters. Many of the major auto makers unveiled new models of highly reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles that the average middle-class person would take to the store. What was different, however, is the amount of emphasis being put on new and efficient power-trains for these working-class heroes.

What really got me is how many new models are being designed with hybrid and diesel engines. Diesel cars have been limited to just a handful of models available in the US, up until now. Among the new models to be featured with more efficient engine options was the 2011 Volvo S60, which has a number of different engine options. One of which includes a 2.4 liter, 5 cylinder, twin-turbo diesel. The neat thing about this setup is that the S60 accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH in just 7.8 seconds, while still getting a preliminary figure of 47.9 miles per gallon. This is a good indication that diesel cars are now being designed for performance while achieving the fuel economy of a hybrid. If, however, you would really like to squeeze more miles from your gallon, the S60 will be available later in the year with the 1.6 liter DRIVe 4 cylinder inline diesel, boasting an impressive preliminary 65.7 miles per gallon and lower CO2 emissions. If you like your gas engines, it will be available as well with a 3.0 liter petrol engine that gets 27.7 miles per gallon, which is a 10% improvement over the previous model… (I’d get the diesel).

Among the other models showing alternative engine options were the 2011 Kia Sportage, offering two gas and two diesel engines, and the 2012 Ford Focus Wagon, offering both types as well. The grocery-getters are not the only ones sporting alternative powertrains, however. Porch unveiled the 2011 Cayenne in both hybrid and turbo configurations, Porche’s first hybrid model featuring a full parallel hybrid-drive system. Of course when we talk about high-end performance with fuel-efficient technology, Tesla Motors had get their new model in there as well. Now partnered with TAG Heuer, Tesla showed their new roadster, including the limited edition TAG Heuer one-fifth second stopwatch. The Tesla Roadster “still accelerates faster than any other supercar, yet is twice as efficient as a hybrid” (Source: Tesla press release).

I sure hope that more diesel cars make their into the US. I just don’t understand why people are buying gas hybrids for more than they could buy a diesel that gets better mileage. We need more than two available models here if we want anybody to buy them, which I know that they would, I would. And where the heck is that hybrid diesel?

Photo courtesy of Autoblog

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