New Models at LA Auto Show Lean Towards Fuel Efficiency

$3 a gallong gasoline in America is causing consumers to rethink their car purchase priorities and carmakers are responding, though hybrids still represent only 1.2 percent of domestic market.

Published: 06-Jan-2006

At the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, where growling hot rods once debuted with a roar, a quiet purr now rules the day.

Auto shows are typically swaggering, macho affairs, where carmakers display their showiest, brawniest vehicles. Horsepower rarely used and top speeds never attained on the street got the top bill, with even meek minivans' racier sides getting attention.

But with $3-a-gallon gasoline an all-too-recent memory in motorists' minds, manufacturers have an all new attribute to crow over: economy.

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HyGenius F600 is a compact-class car with a family-friendly design powered by a zero-emission fuel-cell drive, which consumes the equivalent of 2.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (81.mpg) and has an operating range in excess of 400 kilometres (248 mi).

While American's complain about high fuel prices, Europe embraces fuel efficiency. Photo: Renault Scenic.

There's a big battle shaping up as manufacturers roll out cheap cars for the masses. Toyota Yaris pictured below.

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