By Dan Shapley
Here's a look at some of the new eco-friendly auto models unveiled at the Biennial Frankfurt Auto Show, as detailed by the Toronto Star. Not all of these vehicles will be available in the United States anytime soon -- but they demonstrate the innovation taking place in the automaking industry -- and that's a very positive sign.
- Volkswagen's Up! -- A four-seat, rear-engine microcar with two- and three-cylinder engines, it will go into production 2011.
- Mercedes-Benz's F700 DiesOtto -- A luxury sedan with subcompact fuel efficiency, it will hit the market in 2012.
- Mercedes-BMW-GM's ML 450 Hybrid -- A two-mode rear-drive hybrid, it will be available in North America (Canada, anyway) in 2009.
- BMW's X6 ActiveHybrid -- A gasoline-electric hybrid that is billed as the world's first sport-utility-like coupe, it will go on sale (in Canada) in 2009.
- GM's Flextreme -- A plug-in electric hybrid with a lithium-ion battery pack and a 1.3 Liter diesel engine, it is made under the Open and Saturn banners. Vehicles with this technology should be in production within two or three years.
- Audi's e Concept -- A modified A4 sedan, it uses gel batteries to store kinetic energy.
- Toyota's iQ -- A front-wheel drive microcar.
- Nissan's Mixim -- An all-electric car, it can go 155 miles on a single charge.
- Hyundai's i-Blue -- A hydrogen fuel cell car.