BMW i3

While it probably won't score you any style points, the BMW i3 ($41,350) will definitely get you to work without so much as glancing at a fuel pump. This rear-wheel-drive four-seater gets its power from an electric engine producing 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque — not too shabby. It has a nearly 100-mile range on a single charge, and accelerates up to 60 mph in a fairly-impressive seven seconds. Much of its efficiency comes from lightweight construction (the combination carbon fiber and plastic passenger compartment is stronger than steel), resulting in an only 2,700 pound weight. For those worried about getting stranded in the commuter lane with a dead battery, they offer a gas generator. But that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

  • BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe

    Long-known for gracefully combining luxury with performance, BMWs rarely disappoint, and the BMW Pinifarina Gran Lusso Coupe ($TBA) certainly doesn't. The Germans have joined forces with luxury Italian designers Pininfarina to make a one-off creation boasting exclusivity and roadworthiness. The exterior is distinctly BMW, with a set-back cockpit and stretched hood covering a massive V-12 (and of course the signature kidney-shaped grill). But the interior screams Italian opulence — fine Italian leather upholstery, plaid Italian wool headliner, and accents made of kauri wood aged 48,000 years. Carmakers could learn a thing or two from this impressive partnership.

  • 2014 Volkswagen GTI

    Coming up its 40th anniversary, VW is getting ready to take the wraps off the seventh generation of its speedy hatchback. The 2014 Volkswagen GTI (€28,000; roughly $36,000) is the first GTI to arrive with two power options: a 220 hp 2.0L TSI engine standard, which is cranked up to 230hp with the optional performance pack. Even with the power improvements, the new hatch offers improved fuel economy of up to 39 mpg with the six-speed manual and 36.8 with the six-speed, dual-clutch DSG transmission. Other features include sports seats with the "Clark" tartan pattern, red ambient lighting, a GTI shifter knob and instrument cluster, stainless-steel pedals, Climatronic climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, and heated front seats. Arriving in Germany in May; look for it stateside sometime after that.

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