Low Emission Vehicles are Great but Style Still Matters

NAIAS Cars
We are here at the North American International Auto Show and wandering the floor. There are some cool concept cars we’ve seen and some nice 2014 models that look great. There are also an abundance of small, highly economical cars on display. Here are a few examples.

And as we have seen more and more of these small, low emissions vehicles I’m left wondering… Does lower emissions have to also have to mean less style and taste?

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

9 Comments on "Low Emission Vehicles are Great but Style Still Matters"

  1. Are you implying that the cars pictured lack style? Personally I find cars that try to maximize storage and fuel economy and maintain safety while minimizing both physical and carbon footprint as well as ‘wallet impact’ INCREDIBLY sexy. Gas guzzlers? Fugly. It is all a matter of perspective 🙂

    • I find their QUALITIES quite attractive. The now ubiquitous bubble shape they seem to take however strikes me as increasingly meh.

      • They are very bubble-like. I remember reading that the Prius (and copycat designs like the Honda Insight) are designed to reduce wind resistance and therefore help with fuel mileage…but when a car is as small as the ones in these pictures I wonder if the bubble design makes a major difference.

        • It does … but in the sense of trying to compensate for being so small. It is an interesting effect – larger cars weigh more and suffer for that, but they are better able to form air foils due to longer wheelbase. Shorter cars need to still have space for people and stuff, AND they are aiming for ~2x MPG of large cars, while also maintaining safety. The laws of physics only give so many paths to those goals …

  2. I love the idea of getting better mpg, but I have to admit that none of these look like they could take on a deer (buzzard, turkey, or feral hog) safely, and that is a hazard I always have to watch out for when driving where I live. =P

  3. Good things do come in small packages, but these cars ain’t it. Give me a Mini Cooper instead.

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