2011 looks like it may be a great year for the auto industry. After the bailouts and disasters of the last few years the auto industry looks to be heading into their best sales year in a long time and automakers are competing hard for their slice of your cash in 2011. Several great vehicles are on their way, including – for the first time ever – two affordable, mass produced, electric vehicles that should prove to be 2011’s environmental buy. Here are our choices for the most exciting cars coming from 2011.
Perhaps the most important new car to arrive in 2011 is the brand new Chevy Volt. Along with the Nissan Leaf it is one of the first electric cars to go on sale in the US and despite its asking price being north of $40,000 it is likely to attract green buyers in spades. The Volt dodges the short range of other electric vehicles by carrying a small on board generator that recharges the battery. Despite the generator the gas usage is negligible compared to any of today’s vehicles.
This is the second mass produced Electric car that will be available in 2011. The leaf is completely emission free and relies only on a battery for its energy. Each battery will give you between 60 and 130 miles depending on the driving and charging conditions but that is more than enough for most people to commute to work and back before they plug in the car for the night. Washington DC is also among cities across the country introducing charging stations at parking spaces so soon you may be able to charge during the day as well. What’s even better than the gas savings? The Leaf will only set you back somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000.
The Fiat 500 is due to arrive next year, and in fitting with the 2011 trend, it’s another shot at the small car market. This is another upscale small car designed to compete in the premium compact segment with the Mini Cooper. The 500 marks the return of Fiat to the United States market and the first time Americans can buy an Italian car in the United States for less than $80,000. Prices start at $16,000 and it will be sold through a network of 130 Chrysler dealers.
The 2012 Ford Focus marks a turning point in the evolution of one of the most popular American small cars. The 2012 Focus will bring the underpinnings of the Euro Focus back to the United States. The original Focus was launched as the same car but the European model has continued to develop since then, whereas the American car has stood still. This should mean a big jump forward for the Focus. The new Focus should start around the same base price as the current model which retails now for just under $17,000.
Chrysler needs more than the new Fiat to revive years of awful mid-size cars. They’re attempting to right this with a quick overhaul of the Sebring, renaming and generally making it not suck. The new car will be called the 200 to grow off the success of the Chrysler 300, which has been very popular. The new 200 will have a V-6 and features a much upgraded interior, righting one of the Sebring’s major sins. The Chrysler 200 should start at around $20,000 and go up from there.
These are our choices for the most exciting cars coming out in 2011. Is there something you think we missed? Leave us a comment.