A company spokeswoman said the big rollout comes in January with 74 dealers selling the new vehicles across the country. The car for two is made in Hambach, France, and the company boasts of “amazing” gas mileage of 33 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. Those numbers were revised down from 40 and 45, respectively, from this year. Called the Smart Fortwo, it is billed as one of the most economical cars on the market today. That’s not surprising since it’s powered by an eco-gentle 61-cubic-inch engine that puts out 70 horsepower. Meanwhile Toyota, famous for its eco-feelgood Prius, made a splash with the redesigned crossover Matrix line that will be available early next year. The line offers SUV characteristics with the drivability of a sedan. “It may have the body of a five-door hatch(back), but it sure comes with the soul of a two-door sports car,” said Tim Morrison, Toyota division marketing manager. The Matrix comes in three styles: standard, S and the XRS. The company also positioned the car for after-market fans who want to trick out its appearance. And while not a green car, its fuel economy ratings are a respectable 26 mpg city and 32 highway for the manual transmission model and 25/31 for the automatic. Even Audi, known for expensive speed machines, recognizes the need for fuel economy these days. Its unveiling of the Cross Cabriolet created media gridlock and a gentle scrum for the first look at what was under the tarps. The company promises plenty of power but it comes from an engine rated ultra-low-emission. Rupert Stadtler, the company’s CEO, said today’s Audis consume 30 percent less fuel than 10 years ago and the near-term goal is a reduction of another 20 percent. “Our customers want to drive fuel-efficient cars, but they also want high quality and high technology,” Stadtler said. Porsche, another German merchant of speed, introduced the Cayenne hybrid that will be available at the end of the decade. It’s a true hybrid with both an electrical and gasoline system, which can each power the car. Ford’s Mulally did emphasize that the only way to reach the number of vehicles that bring meaningful change is to make sure the vehicles are affordable. One way to accomplish this is to reduce the weight of cars and trucks by using lighter alloys in the manufacturing process. He noted that hybrids cost about 7 percent to 20 percent more than all-gas models because they have two drive trains – one for the electric motor and one for the fossil fuel power plant. Mulally also said Ford will give Southern California Edison 20 plug-in hybrids so the energy company can help test the vehicle’s commercial application and help jump-start an infrastructure system for powering the cars. email@example.com 818-713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! While delivering the keynote speech, Mulally announced that Ford is rolling out a blueprint for sustainability by improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. He also pledged that these initiatives would spread across the company’s entire product line. “Ford is committed to offering customers affordable, environmentally friendly technologies in vehicles they really want,” he said. “We are focusing on sustainability technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars, but for millions of cars.” Ford isn’t the the only manufacturer to trumpet the need for eco-friendly vehicles. Just about every automaker at the show has hybrids, electrics or hydrogen fuel cell-powered rides either in their fleets or in development. And not all the buzz is being generated from Asian manufacturers, either. The oh-so-cute Smart Car with a French pedigree proved an attention-grabber in the Convention Center’s entryway as the press corps filed into the show on the first of two preview days. These days, it’s easy being green in the automotive world. While there’s no official theme at the Los Angeles Auto Show – which opens to the public Friday at the Convention Center – hybrids, electric vehicles and smart, fuel-efficient cars and trucks are this year’s stars. This morning, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance to highlight the newest alternative-fuel vehicles, along with the announcement of the Green Car of The Year. But credit Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.’s chief executive officer, for applying the first coat of green on Thursday.