10 cool electric cars of the future
Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept
Why it's green: Hybrid.
Why it's cool: Sporty performance, Euro styling.
With only a small, 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine in the VW New Compact Coupe Concept, Volkswagen uses turbocharging, direct injection, an electric motor and a seven-speed automatic transmission to get decent performance and an estimated 45 mpg. Direct injection forces gasoline into the combustion chamber at much higher pressure than a typical gasoline engine. That results in much more precise burning, more power and lower emissions from a given amount of gasoline. VW calls the "NCC" a concept car, but it has the look of a car that's close to going into production.