LUXURY LIVING - Tesla, Porsche, BMW i
Hybrids are a solid first choice because they’re quiet and give the impression of more power, for less fuel. The Lexus LS600h is a luxury limo meant to take on the likes of the V12 powered BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. It succeeds – at least in terms of fuel economy- netting an EPA-rated 20 mpg combined, compared to 14 mpg in the Mercedes and 15 mpg in the BMW. Of course, the Lexus is lavishly appointed like its German competition. It’s not the kind of fuel economy that would impress the green crowd, but it could help save a few bucks at the gas station.
Mercedes and BMW also offer a hybrid powertrain in the S-Class and 7-series, but instead use a hybrid motor in co-operation with a six-cylinder engine, to achieve eight-cylinder power with better fuel economy.
Many luxury automakers have a specific driving experience, which is far from vague. Porsche is able to combine a luxury car with a hybrid powertrain and continuing to deliver an engaging driving style with its Cayenne and Panamera Hybrids.
However, these hybrids aren’t known to be very refined or exceptionally fuel friendly, so if you’re in the market for the very best in luxury vehicles, while having a smooth and refined powertrain, there’s no better option than diesel.
Europeans really dig diesel fuel. Audi is now offering several TDI models, including the A6, A7 and A8, while Mercedes-Benz offers a diesel engine in its E-Class and S-Class. BMW is even starting to offer diesel versions of its sport sedan, with a four-cylinder diesel version of the 3 Series.
When it comes to luxury cars and EVs, a new player has emerged on top. The Tesla Model S is gaining a lot of traction thanks to its impressive 260 mile range and impressive interior and exterior styling. They are on the expensive side, starting at 71,070 and running well into six-figure territory with optional equipment.
Other luxury automakers are getting in on the EV craze and 2013 saw the introduction of the new BMW i line of vehicles. The i3 and i8 vehicles are not based on any other BMW in the lineup and are developed with the focus of delivering a BMW driving experience without an internal combustion engine. Like the Tesla, the luxury EV segment is quite expensive. The i3 costs $41,350, and the i8 carries a whopping tag of $135,700.