Green Car Concepts & Models: Paris Auto Show Overview

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The 2012 Paris Auto Show is currently underway, but with press days now done and dusted, it's time to take a look at the green vehicles which made the headlines.

Between concepts and production vehicles, several manufacturers offered something fuel efficient--and many previewed vehicles that didn't use fossil fuels at all.

Below you'll find our review of the most important production cars of the show, and on page 2 you can read about some of the concepts which wowed the Parisian halls. Click on any of the model names to be taken to a full guide or photo gallery.

Production cars

2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost
Ford's Fiesta is getting a facelift for the 2013 model year to bring it in line with newer vehicles like the Focus and Fusion, but most intriguing is the 1.0 EcoBoost.

We've covered the 1-liter, 3-cylinder engine on several occasions and even driven it in the Focus, but it'll hit the U.S. first in the Fiesta, where it should make for an economical, fun-to-drive little car.

2013 Honda CR-Z
Honda's mild hybrid coupe has attracted flak for being neither quick enough nor efficient enough, so a few changes for 2013 should improve its lot with buyers. It gets a subtly reshaped nose and some LED strips in the headlights--which you can check out in our full live gallery.

It also gets a more powerful 1.5-liter engine and electric motor, developing 135 horsepower. There are also a host of styling tweaks, a new 'Plus Sport' boost mode, and a rather nice shade of purple. But will it sell?...

2013 MINI Paceman
MINI's 'Sport Activity Coupe', the Paceman, made its worldwide debut at Paris. Based on the larger, five-door Countryman, the Paceman is half coupe, half crossover, and top models will get MINI's ALL4 all-wheel drive transmission.

While it hasn't yet been confirmed, the Paceman may also receive MINI's 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, when it reaches the U.S.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid
Mitsubishi actually got in on the plug-in craze fairly early with the i-MiEV, or 'i' as it's known in the U.S.--but the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, which you can see in our full gallery, is the company's first plug-in hybrid.

Based on the new, 2013 Outlander, the model made its debut in Paris and reaffirm's Mitsubishi's commitment to greener motoring. Its 2.0-liter gasoline engine and hybrid drivetrain let it achieve 143 mpg--on Japan's optimistic test cycles, at least...

2013 Renault Zoe
Not due for sale in the U.S, Renault's Zoe is a subcompact electric car that, after local discounts, will cost little more (and probably less) than its gasoline and diesel rivals.

That makes it fairly special, and its clean, modern styling, spacious interior and low running costs--even considering battery rental--could make it a landmark electric car.

Toyota iQ EV
Toyota's iQ EV was launched almost apologetically at the Paris Show, in the shadow of hybrid models like the European-market Toyota Auris and the Yaris Hybrid.

A funky rival to Smart's third-generation ForTwo Electric Drive, the iQ EV won't be seen in the U.S, and it won't be seen frequently in Europe either, with only 100 units being made. Unfortunately, that means that even if it's any good, few are ever likely to find out...

2014 Volkswagen Golf
Okay, so it looks pretty much like the existing Golf, but Volkswagen's volume model has always been more about evolution than revolution.

For 2014, the Golf has lost up to 220 pounds compared to its predecessor, bringing about improvements in every area. It also slips through the air better thanks to a lower drag coefficient, it'll come with a range of fuel-efficient diesel engines, and VW still intends to make an electric version, too.

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