By TreeLiving

For green enthusiasts, the biggest challenge is a car that doesn’t pollute and boost their carbon footprint every time they go round the block. Eco cars are the answer and though the perfect model has yet to be invented, they are getting better all the time. Right now, hybrids are where it’s at. All the major manufactu rers are racing to bring out better, greener eco cars and there will be a bumper crop on the market in 2013.

As well as featuring the latest developments in green car technology, the designers are also paying attention to good looks. Alongside standard designs, there are plenty of sporty, eye-catching models to get car enthusiasts’ pulses racing.

The original Ford Fusion won awards when it appeared and the manufacturers are still going for innovation in 2013. The new 185 horsepower Fusion offers three different powertrains and has lithium ion batteries instead of NiMh. There’s also a plug-in version, the Fusion Energi. From Ford’s Lincoln division comes the second generation of their popular MKZ model hybrid eco car, also with three powertrain options. Another household name in the mid-range, mid-size market Volkswagen, brings you a new Jetta hybrid, with a 1.4 liter engine and 150 horsepower.

Honda has blazed a trail with their eco cars and innovative technology, notably the CR-Z sport hybrid coupe, which is one of the cleanest running eco cars around. At 122 horsepower it may not be sporty enough for some, but it looks great as well as being clean. The firm’s innovations are set to continue in the future with the Honda Acura NSX. The new NSX concept car won’t be available till 2015 but it’s got people excited with its lightweight, stylish design and V6 engine. Honda promises super acceleration with this model.

For motorists who swear by German engineering, the 2013 hybrid sedans from BMW may be appealing. The ActiveHybrid range is the one to look out for. The ActiveHybrid 5 can go for 2.5 miles just on electricity and has good acceleration too (0-60 mph in under 6 seconds). With traditional good looks and quality, this is a classy eco car for those who can afford it.

New entries into the market for eco cars are also on the horizon. Volvo has announced its debut, with a 280 horsepower concept model in the pipeline. A notable new name in the hybrid car market is the American automotive manufacturer Fisker.  Fisker specializes in upmarket hybrid eco cars, and the price tags aren’t for the average green motorist. The company is following up its pioneering Fisker Karma with the plug-in Fisker Atlantic. Production is expected to begin in 2013.

The reputation of hybrid cars was that they were boring to look at and to drive. But that’s starting to change, with these and many more new models from manufacturers at the cutting edge in the design of eco cars.

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