US Announces Stricter Gasoline Standards
The EPA's proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent.
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Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
If you have love for both the planet and your car, there's no reason you can't have it all. As hybrid, electric and fuel-efficiency have established themselves as the buzzwords of the automotive world, makers of luxury cars have listened. These eight cars make fuel efficiency look good. The MKZ Hybrid gets a remarkable 41mpg in the city and 36 highway, so you can drive more than 500 miles around town before you need to gas up. That means you spend a lot more time looking good in your ride and enjoying the heated and cooled leather seats in the near silent interior. Simply put, this car is a winner.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid may have been beaten by Infiniti’s M Hybrid in a race, but it's still among the best of the fuel-efficient luxury cars. The 3.0-liter V6 produces 333 horsepower; an electric motor adds another 47. The $95,000 price tag puts it at twice the cost of the MKZ- so it comes down to just how much you want the Porsche name on your ride.
Mercedes E350 BlueTec Diesel
There are plenty of reasons to switch to diesel, not the least of which is improved fuel mileage. The E350 fits into a long line of diesel-powered Mercedes cars, dating back to 1935. The mid-size sedan's V6 engine only pumps out 210hp, but comes back with 400lb-ft of torque. It goes from zero to 60mph in 7.2 seconds. For $51,775, you can bring home the BlueTec Diesel, with 24mpg city, 34mph highway.
Nissan North America, Inc.
Infiniti M Hybrid
When it comes to speed, Infiniti is ahead of the game: the M Hybrid is officially the fastest accelerating full hybrid in the world, even taking down Porsche's Panamera S Hybrid in a head to head race. With a combined fuel efficiency of 29mpg, the new record holder brings a lot of muscle and luxury to the green car market.
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Imag
Fiat 500 Abarth
For $22,000, you can be the owner of the Fiat 500 Abarth, the car that "feels like a double shot of espresso straight to your veins,” according to Tim Kuniskis, Head of Fiat Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC.. With a different look for a luxury car, the 500 gets a combined 33mpg, enough to power its 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque all day.
Audi of America
Knocking out combined 28mpg, the A6 runs for $41,700. Audi knows how to build a luxury car. The A6 comes with a keyless start function and can turn on your house lights as well as open your garage door. The cruise control function lets you stay a set distance back from the car in front of you, and an infrared camera can detect pedestrians up to 300 feet away at night.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Lexus CT 200h
With an impressive 43mpg in the city and 40mpg highway, the CT200h is among the best green cars on the road today. Priced at just below $30,000, the CT features a warning sound when in EV mode, so unassuming pedestrians stay safe.
Audi of America
Audi A3 TDI
Audi's A3 Turbocharged Direct Injection burns diesel for an impressive 42mpg highway, and gets 30mpg in the city. It's been popular since its 2010 debut, largely thanks to its exquisite interior. Follow Alex on Twitter.
US regulators announced on Friday stricter rules on vehicle emissions and a requirement for low-sulfur gasoline as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce pollution.
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal would require a 60 percent reduction in sulfur in gasoline as well as stricter tailpipe emissions standards for cars and light trucks.
"Today's proposal will enable the greatest pollution reductions at the lowest cost," the EPA said in a statement.
The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent -- down to 10 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, the EPA said.
The Obama administration has said the proposal would result in a one cent per gallon cost increase at the gas pump and would cost about $130 per car in 2025.
But critics say the price to fuel vehicles will be higher, with industry estimates ranging from six to nine cents more per gallon.
"With $4 dollar a gallon gas the norm in many parts of the country, we cannot afford policies that knowingly raise gas prices," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan.
High sulfur content in gasoline creates more pollutants and adds to smog and soot in the air.
Supporters of the new rules hailed the move as a crucial step in Obama's second term as president, and the equivalent of taking more than 33 million cars off US roads.
"We know of no other air pollution control strategy that can achieve such substantial, cost-effective and immediate emission reductions," said S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
Lawmakers who opposed the release of the proposal, known as Tier 3, said it would raise costs for consumers in an already struggling US economy.
"The EPA continues to disregard the facts and potential economic costs of Tier 3, when consumers and our economy can't afford gas prices going up even further," said Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter.
"This move signals a frightening flood of new rules," he said.
The proposal now faces a period of public comment before it can be finalized.