Green Stars of the LA Auto Show

Look for concepts from Audi and BMW -- they're hard to miss.

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The BMW concept car 'Vision' is coming to the LA Auto Show, Dec. 4-13. It looks angry, but it's actually a happy plug-in hybrid with a three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and a combined power output of about 350 horsepower.
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It's worth another look -- from the rear. BMW says it's "superior to anything provided so far by a hybrid vehicle" when it comes to performance. It should be if it's going to go around looking like a spaceship.
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The Audi E-Tron concept car poses next to a model. It's based on Audi's out-of-this-world R8, which borrowed technology proven in Audi's out-of-this-universe R10 and R8 prototype race cars. Audi says the e-tron's combined power output is he combined power output is rated at 313 horsepower.
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On to less powerful, but equally important, examples of automotive technology. Meet the Volkswagen Polo car. The Polo Blue Motion will visit LA next month. It's not an Audi or BMW, but you can fit plenty of reusable grocery bags behind that hatch.
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The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI.
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Volkswagen's sporty hatchback, the Golf, gets an update and a TDI (Turbo Direct Injection diesel -- that's a good thing) power plant. The Golf was the 2009 World Car of the Year.
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If those VWs aren't your speed, try this -- the Volkswagen L1 concept car.
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The L1 stands for 1 liter of petrol -- which is about all it needs to go 62 miles. That's about 230 miles per gallon.
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The problem with the L1 is it only goes about 75 mph. This offering from Fisker Automotive -- the Karma S -- is faster.
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It also looks good in silver.
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No hybrid-alternative fuel motor show is complete without Toyota's Prius. Here's the third-generation Prius.
And this is the Prius Plug-In Hybrid concept car. It's getting charged up for a big day of being efficient.
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But one of the most talked about cars at the show is a possible competitor -- the Chevy Volt. It's a plug-in hybrid electric. Here's how it works: For the first 40 miles -- enough for most commutes -- it's powered by on-board lithium-ion batteries. After that, a 4-cylinder gasoline engine creates electricity to extend the car's range.
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Let's continue the hybrid-alternative tour by heading back to Germany. Along with the Vision (see Slide 1), BMW will bring the 7 Series ActiveHybrid to LA.
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Need even more room? How about the BMW X6 ActiveHybrid?
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Alles ist gut with the new Mercedes-Benz Concept Blue Zero F-Cell vehicle.
The F-Cell is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with a range of about 250 miles.
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The B's much, much bigger brother -- the Mercedes ML450 Hybrid.
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Here's Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid.
Mercedes-Benz also plans to have the E350 Bluetech wagon, and two other SUVs -- the GL 350 Bluetec and ML350 Bluetech -- at the show.
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The TDI version of this Audi A3 will be in LA. That's an S3 pictured. We could explain the difference with techobabble, but let's just say it's more of everything.
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And so will the TDI version of the giant Q7... shhh... its engine is so quiet it's taking a nap.
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The Lexus RX 450h.
Toyota's concept hybrid vehicle 'Lexus LF-Ch' -- both halves will appear at the show.
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Lexus also will present the HS 250h, GS 450h and the LS 600h. H is for hybrid.
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The Toyota Hybrid Camry Concept vehicle.
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A new GMC Yukon Hybrid sport utility vehicle is sure to draw a crowd -- most of whom will be able to fit inside the mammoth vehicle.
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The hybrid Ford Fusion. You haven't looked at Ford for a while, have you? Come one, they're doing some good things over there. Ask Motor Trend.
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Ford Escape Hybrid.
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The Insight hybrid at the stand of Japanese automaker Honda at the AMI 2009 International Auto Fair.
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The Honda Civic Hybrid
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The Honda FCX Clarity. if it's good enough for Top Gear, it's good enough for us.
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You'll sacrifice speed and performance -- a lot of speed and performance -- by choosing the Honda FCX over the Honda Racing RA107 F1 car, but your friends will appreciate the rear legroom. And it's great if you're splitting the fuel bill on long road trips.
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A new Mercury Mariner Hybrid sport utility vehicle is among the many SUVs that will be on display at the show.
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The Toyota Highlander hybrid (2007 LA Auto Show pictured) will be rolled in the Civic Center.
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Long the spokesvehicle for excessive chrome and metal, Cadillac will show off its hybrid Escalade SUV. Great on fuel consumption, not so great when it comes to parallel parking.
On to the working trucks -- like the GMC Sierra hybrid.
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The Chevy Silverado (2004 pictured) also will appear in the hybrid lineup for those who like to get things done.
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That's the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Two-mode Hybrid -- for those who like to get things done with a lot of other people.
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