Eco-friendly friendly cars have been plagued with “bad” designs as far back as we can remember, but a handful of auto manufacturers have heard your cries and taken into their own hands the mission of creating environmentally friendly cars that can also turn heads. Here are some of ToMo’s favorite eco-friendly cars that actually look amazing:
Artega SE – $200,000
This all-electric darkhorse has been kept under wraps for the last few years but will soon come stateside in hopes to unseat the ever popular Tesla Roadster. Originally designed by Henrik Fisker, the beautiful Artega SE shell conceals a 370 HP engine that can take the car from 0-60 in under 4 seconds – faster than any electric vehicle in its class. Very little information has been released about the SE model’s exact range specifications, but the unique looking space frame body of the Artega comprises aluminum in combination with high-tensile stainless steel and reinforced polyurethane compound material.
Fisker Karma – $110,000
While not the most efficient or reliable vehicle of the bunch, the Fisker Karma still stands on its own as a design worthy of praise. After taking a peek at lead designer Henrik Fisker‘s resume, it’s no wonder the sleek hybrid sports coupe features such slick lines. Before creating the Fisker Karma, Henrik attended world-renowned Art Center to become a designer at BMW and eventually head operations at Designworks, a subsidiary design firm within BMW.
After leaving BMW, Fisker set out to create the most beautiful, yet eco-friendly hybrid vehicle out there, accomplishing his goal via the inclusion of solar cell-embedded rooftop, reclaimed wood furnishings, low voltage exterior lighting, and emission-less F1 tires. If that weren’t enough, the Fisker Karma rocks an impressive list of celebrity owners that includes Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher, and former Vice President Al Gore.
Another little known fact about the designer? Henrik Fisker was responsible for the initial design for the Tesla Model S *and* the Aston Martin Vantage.
Tesla Model S – $60,000- $100,000
Finally reaching the driveways of anxious buyers three years after initial announcement, The Tesla Model S stands as an engineering feat no matter how you slice it. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk set out to create the first fully electric family sedan with the Model S and has done so quite elegantly with the help of a world-class engineering and design team.
Because the Tesla Model S is fully electric-powered by an array of laptop batteries set in its base, it features a near perfect 50-50 weight distribution and drive train torque that is unmatched by almost any gas engine. The innovative all-glass panoramic roof opens wider than any other vehicle’s while blocking over 80% of the heat you’d typically experience. What may feel even more stark a change to consumers is the 17″ flatscreen control panel that rests in the area where most would expect dials and nobs. All in all, the Model S truly is the consumer-grade fully electric car of the future.
“Model S is a remarkably important car. This car shows that it can be done and it will be done.” - Chris Paine, Director @ Who Killed the Electric Car
Lexus LF-LC – $230,000
The Lexus LF-LC‘s lines are clearly inspired by its LF-A supercar predecessor, but what lies under its hood is the next-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system that features a high-energy battery pack for extra juice on the throttle. The Atkinson combustion engine coupled with the high-yield electric power source collectively puts out about 500 horsepower – more power than any hybrid to date. Though the LF-LC rests as a concept now, Lexus has publicly stated that it plans on putting this car into production circa 2015. Worth the wait? We’ll see.
Behind-the-scenes LF-LC design commentary:
Jaguar C-X75 – $1,250,000
The Jaguar C-X75 started out as a mere concept car that debuted at the Paris Motor Show back in 2010, but eventually resonated so strongly with onlookers that Jaguar decided to produce a limited-run fleet (250 max) with the help of Williams F1 race team. Each of the C-X75′s tires has a dedicated electric motor that is powered by a combination of micro-turbine-charged batteries and a gas engine that is capable of running on diesel, biofuels, compressed natural gas, and liquid petroleum gas. Serving as the true swiss army knife of eco-friendly cars, the Jaguar C-X75 is a product of obsessive attention to detail in efforts to elevate the standard of carmakers all over; being terribly easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt either.