2012 paris show stars
Alternative power via different means
Volkswagen Golf Blue Motion
The seventh-generation Golf is unveiled with one of the most economical engines around: a 110hp 1.6-litre diesel-turbo capable of a remarkable 31kpl and a theoretical 1,562km touring range. The 15% improvement in economy over the outgoing Golf is made possible via a lighter and more aerodynamic body, automatic stop/start and brake energy regeneration system.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive
Mercedes has finally revealed the production version of its all-electric supercar. With an electric motor driving each wheel, the carbonfibre-bodied SLS produces 740hp and is capable of doing 3.9sec from 0-100kph (the regular SLS has a lesser 571hp yet a quicker 3.8sec time due to lighter weight). Even if the electric SLS is privy with the 3% excise tax, it would still cost 40 million baht in Thailand.
Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive
Due to hit showrooms in 2014, this zero-CO2 B-class comes with a 136hp/310Nm electric motor backed up by lithium-ion batteries. While most EVs usually attain a 160km touring range, Mercedes claims a longer 200km distance. Thai sales are unlikely because EVs face 80% import duty before they can enjoy the 3% excise tax rate.
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell
Korea’s biggest car brand has become the first maker to put a hydrogenpowered car into series production. Based on the Tucson (called ix35 in Europe) compact SUV, the water-emitting Hyundai can achieve a 160kph top speed and 588km touring range. Hyundai aims to build 1,000 a year by 2015, with Denmark and Sweden getting it first at the end of this year.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
This is the world’s first SUV with a plug-in petrol/electric hybrid engine. Unique here are two electric motors, one driving the front axle and the other the rear. Mitsubishi claims a pure electric driving range of 55km, plus a total 880km when the 2.0-litre MIVEC petrol engine comes into play. Thai sales are unlikely, despite the 10% rate for hybrids.
Porsche Cayenne S Diesel
Porsche’s seventh Cayenne is meant for green credentials in the high-performance SUV front. The 382hp 4.2-litre V8 twin-turbo diesel can do 0-100kph in 5.7sec yet achieve 12kpl. The S Hybrid, by comparison, has a 380hp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol-electric combination yielding a slower 6.5sec time and 12.2kpl. There is no tax incentive for diesel in Thailand.
Audi A3 Sportback TCNG
Joining the regular Sportback (the fivedoor hatchback version of the A3) model at Audi’s stand is a bi-fuel version running on either petrol or compressed natural gas, which Mercedes-Benz is also showcasing in the latest B-class called NGT. Audi and Mercedes say there are no plans to sell them in Thailand, despite the 20% excise tax perk for CNG-powered cars.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor