3 cars shaping the automotive future

Some petrol heads may bemoan the current state of the automotive industry, with efficiency and environmental friendliness pushing car manufacturers away from snorting V8s to clean, green hybrids. 

However, this doesn't mean the end of exciting cars, as manufacturers are now pushing the boundaries of innovation in an attempt to increase fuel efficiency and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. And if hybrid engines are good enough for current Formula 1 cars, they're most certainly good enough to drive you to work.

1. Tesla Model S

Billionaire genius Elon Musk shattered industry preconceptions of all-electric cars when he began developing and releasing cars under the Tesla name. Despite being a four-door sedan, the Model S is sleek and refined, with a futuristic slant to its design that really sets it apart from other vehicles on the road. 

It's also fast. Very fast, in fact. A zero to 100 time of 3.1 seconds puts the Model S on par with a number of Italy's mightiest supercars, all without using a drop of fuel. 

While the speed and design of the Model S are great highlights, its defining feature is its all-electric powertrain, meaning it can be driven from A to B and back again without consuming any petrol. With a range of over 400km per charge, and free charging stations scattered around Australia, the Tesla Model S is the first step towards a greener future. 

2. Volvo S60

Safety is one of the most important features of any vehicle. While you might be able to account for your own actions behind the wheel, mistakes from other drivers can put you in some scary situations.

Although all car makers have made a push towards safety in recent years, none have done more so than Volvo. The Swedish marque once famously announced that no one would be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo by 2020, illustrating how important the agenda is for its brand. 

This drive for safety is reflected in its Intellisafe initiative that combines a number of safety technologies standard across its range of cars. These include collision detectors and blind spot warnings amongst a whole host of other features. 

3. Toyota Mirai

Toyota already sparked a minor revolution in the industry with its massively successful hybrid, the Prius. Having previously combined electricity and internal combustion, the Japanese manufacturer has now turned its attention to hydrogen. 

The Mirai, when released, will generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction only produces water, meaning it will be one of the cleanest available vehicles once it's up for sale.