• Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

    One of the early electric-car hopefuls, Aptera, is back a decade later with a reconstituted version of its car and the team behind it.

  • Genesis Mint Concept debut, Hudson Yards, NYC - 2019 New York auto show
    Genesis Mint Concept: luxury urban electric two-seater debuts in New York

    Genesis is the newest brand trying to take a piece of a global luxury-vehicle market still dominated by German makers. Last night, in New York City, the Korean brand revealed its first-ever electric car concept. Unusually these days, the Genesis Mint Concept isn’t a crossover utility vehicle...

  • Baojun E100 electric car
    Baojun E100: GM's tiny, two-seat electric car for China

    Most North Americans and Europeans will likely never have heard of Baojun, but it's one of many brands operated under General Motors' SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture in China. Its portfolio is mostly made up of small sedans, multi-purpose vehicles (small minivans), hatchbacks, and a crossover utility...

  • 2016 Smart ForTwo
    Smart ForTwo minicar: 15 years later, has it made a difference?

    Minimal cars are often an appealing idea: why should one person drive a two-ton vehicle with five or more seats on local journeys of 10 miles or fewer? Then there's the crushingly difficult parking in major European, Asian, and North American cities. Add to that, perhaps, a desire for minimal use...

  • 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive - first drive, Miami, Nov 2016   [photo: Jeff Jablansky]
    2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive: first drive of electric two-seat car

    On a hot, muggy day in south Florida, nothing is more comforting than knowing that your well-cooled car will make it to its destination. When that car is a reboot of the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, the tiny battery-powered European city slicker—and you’re surrounded by a sea of drivers...

  • 2016 Honda CR-Z
    2016 Honda CR-Z Soldiers On: Styling Updates, More Tech Features

    The 2016 Honda CR-Z hybrid gets revised styling and more standard and available features.

  • 2016 Smart ForTwo minicar, parked behind first-generation model, Portland, Oregon, Aug 2015

    The 2016 Smart ForTwo is the first entirely new version of the European two-seat minicar since that vehicle was launched in the late 1990s. And it's a much better car, with more power, a choice of manual or automated transmissions, modern comfort and interior features, and fuel economy that's stayed at the same level even given its added equipment and higher power. That said, the main reason to buy a Smart ForTwo isn't to save gasoline. It's to park in impossibly tiny spaces. DON'T MISS: 2016 Smart ForTwo - full review We spent parts of two days driving a couple of different 2016 Smart coupes...

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata drive, Southern California, July 2015
    2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The Greenest New Sports Car You Can Buy?

    The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the newest generation of the world's most popular sports car. The iconic two-seater passed the British MGB more than a decade ago to become the highest-volume sports car in the world, and the latest iteration brings it into the current decade. In fact, we'd argue that...

  • Elio Motors prototype at New York Auto Show press conference, Apr 2015
    Elio Motors Raises $22 Million From Small Investors, Still Needs $130 Million More

    As one website put it--in a piece tagged to lure Tesla Motors fans--Elio Motors is "the other automotive startup" to which those fans should presumably pay attention. But even Tesla CEO Elon Musk hasn't proposed "crowdsourcing" his product-development funds. Given that Elio now seems to have raised...

  • 2016 Smart ForTwo (European version) - First Drive, Barcelona, Nov 2014
    2016 Smart ForTwo: First Drive Of European Version

    The 2016 Smart ForTwo minicar will arrive at U.S. dealers this fall. When it does, it will be playing the redemption card every chance it gets. Smart was created to counter the increasing global trend toward urbanization. One way to make cities more manageable is a microcar that fit the needs of...

  • 2015 Honda CR-Z
    2015 Honda CR-Z Hybrid Two-Seat Coupe: Unchanged For New Model Year

    The 2015 Honda CR-Z enters the new model year unchanged.

  • Volkswagen XL Sport concept, 2014 Paris Auto Show
    Volkswagen XL Sport At Paris Motor Show: The Details (Video)

    Last week's media days at the Paris Motor Show were the usual mix of cars and marketing. They brought together stunning concept cars, more prosaic production models under pin spots, and speeches laying out how important every single model actually was to the future of the automotive world. DON'T...

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata live photos

    The Mazda MX-5, formerly Miata, holds a Guinness World Record as the highest-selling two-seater sports car in history. More than 940,000 MX-5s have been made since 1989, and the new 2016 MX-5 has just made its debut. Despite those impressive sales numbers though, the MX-5 is actually the perfect example of why two seat cars--a popular category for ultra-high mileage green vehicles--don't really sell in volume. There's a lot to like about the new Miata. It looks great, taking the badge in a whole new direction and away from the cutesy retro look of recent generations. DON'T MISS: 2016 Mazda...

  • Volkswagen XL1 (European model), New York City, Dec 2013
    Ultra-Efficient VW XL1: Now An Urban Legend, Debunked By Snopes

    Ah, conspiracy theories and urban legends. They lure us in with the promise of dark plots and amazing events--even as our rational minds suggest they're likely not true. Now the ultra-efficient Volkswagen XL1 economy car, the highly aerodynamic two-seat diesel plug-in hybrid we drove last fall, has...

  • 2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
    2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive: What It's Like On The Road

    With minimal changes from the model launched last year as the least expensive electric car in the U.S., the 2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive remains the smallest and shortest plug-in electric car sold in the U.S.--as well as the only one offered as a convertible. The two-seat electric Smart comes...

  • Volkswagen XL1 (European model), New York City, Dec 2013
    Volkswagen XL1 138-MPG Diesel Plug-In Hybrid: Drive Report

    We didn't expect the Volkswagen XL1 to be as much fun to drive as it is. Which makes it doubly a shame that Volkswagen won't be selling its radically efficient, two-seat, plug-in diesel hybrid XL1 model in North America. At a price of € 111,000 (roughly $153,000), the 250 XL1 cars that...

  • 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Cabrio, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aug 2013
    2013 Smart Electric Drive Cabrio: Brief Drive Of Electric Convertible

    If you want an electric car, there are now 14 different models with plugs to choose from. But if you want an electric convertible, there's just one: The 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Cabrio. The little two-seat battery electric vehicle with the roll-back cloth roof is now on sale along with the...

  • 2013 Smart Electric Drive outside New York Auto Show, March 2013
    2013 Smart Electric Drive: Drive Video From NY Auto Show

    We didn't expect the fluorescent green, that's for sure. But it probably helped us on our half-hour drive around crowded midtown Manhattan in the new 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the latest all-electric version of the little two-seat Smart car. With the lithium-ion battery pack in the sandwich...

  • 2014 Volkswagen XL1, 2013 Geneva Motor Show

    Will this be the car that finally makes the ultra-aerodynamic and futuristic GM EV1 electric car look old-fashioned? Today, VW Group took the wraps off the production version of the Volkswagen XL1, a turbodiesel plug-in hybrid two-seater that will be its most fuel-efficient model ever offered. The ultra-streamlined XL1 was first shown as a concept car in January 2011. Efficiency starts with an extremely lightweight 12-foot-long body made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, with an astoundingly low drag coefficient of just 0.186 and total weight of only 1,750 pounds. That's partially due to...

  • 2011 Scion iQ at 2010 New York Auto Show, with Scion's Jack Hollis
    Now We Know: U.S. Buyers Don't Much Want Tiny Two-Seat Cars

    It was always a big question whether Americans would buy very, very small cars. When the Smart ForTwo launched in 2008, right into the teeth of gas prices that soared to $4 a gallon, it looked as if the answer might be yes. But now it seems the longer-term answer is, "No, not really." Sales of the...

  • 2013 Honda CR-Z (European spec)
    2013 Honda CR-Z Hybrid Updates: Paris Auto Show Preview

    Today seems to be the day when Paris Motor Show previews are coming thick and fast. Honda announced today that it will show an updated 2013 CR-Z two-seat hybrid hatchback at the Paris event, where media announcements kick off two weeks from yesterday. The 2013 Honda CR-Z has mildly refreshed...

  • Audi Urban Concept launch, 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show
    Audi To Sell Electric Urban Concept, Join The Not-Quite-Car Parade?

    If one is a fluke and two is coincidence, then three makes a trend for sure. Audi is close to approving plans to build a limited number of the all-electric two-seat Urban Concept vehicle that it launched at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, according to CAR magazine in England, If built for sale...

  • Audi Urban Concept launch, 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show
    Audi Urban Concept: Live Photos Of Electric Two-Seater Launch

    The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show officially opens to the press tomorrow, but already the private parties and launch events have started. Sunday night, Audi officially unveiled its pair of two-seat electric concept cars, known jointly as the Urban Concept vehicles. One is a coupe, with a hatch over the...

  • Vauxhall/Opel electric car concept for 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show
    GM's European Arm, Opel, Shows Two-Seat Electric Urban Concept

    With the Frankfurt Motor Show launching in less than a week, the concept cars are starting to come thick and fast. The latest is a small two-seat electric urban car from Opel, the premiere European brand operated by General Motors. It's one of several tiny urban electric concepts, joining the Audi...

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