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Two new cars that are sure to change how Americans drive

Every few years, American roadways are flooded with a bevy of new vehicles that reflect a vast shift in the tastes of the average driver. If the cars that automakers have unveiled so far for model year 2014 are any indication, drivers stateside are interested in smaller vehicles that seem to defy classification while looking like nothing else that has ever graced the streets.

 

Gas-electric luxury incarnate: Cadillac ELR

Although Cadillac has already made its entry into the compact luxury market with the all-new 2013 ATS, the company is now making an even bigger jump into the world of hybrid vehicles with the release of the ELR coupe. This new model is probably the most ambitious, not to mention risky, examples of the companies “arts & science” design philosophy. Nearly every accent on this car looks stretched to the extreme, with a massive front fascia that features alarmingly thin, vertically stacked headlights next to a huge, shimmering, smiley-faced grill.

The ELR is based on the Chevrolet Volt, which gets 38 miles on a fully charged battery before switching over to gasoline. Cadillac claims this car will get the same mileage while looking much more taught and luxurious than its slick but slightly bland Chevy counterpart. The razorblade silhouette of this thing looks more Lamborghini than Cadillac, which makes this one of the first electric cars that may actually appeal to a true high-end demographic.

 

The car that defies definition: BMW i3

BMW has long made standard-bearing models that have always looked classy and timeless. The designers have never felt the need to completely jump out of the box in crafting a look for their newest models, as the simple two-port grill and rounded edges simply always looks good. Many of these design cues remain on the new 2014 i3, but there are some radical features that make this BMW look unlike anything on the road.

This hatchback (or is it an SUV? or a tall sedan?) will be made out of the same ultra-lightweight but extremely strong carbon fiber used on the fuselage of the 787 Dreamliner. In a car with a regular engine, this lightweight body would mean insane gas mileage. Of course, a car that looks this funky doesn’t have a normal engine. Instead, it has a completely electric battery that can reportedly stay fully charged for up to 100 miles before having to plug in again.

Do you plan on trading in your traditional set of wheels for one of these bad boys? Leave your thoughts below:

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