LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Supercars Go Green


The desire to own a luxury sports car from a prestigious manufacturer while also being environmentally friendly are no longer mutually exclusive ideas. Supercar brands are rising to the challenge to be green in a variety of ways.

The latest supercar to be revealed by Ferrari is, astonishingly, not flaming red but instead is natural green. More surprising still is its innovative technology, which is not intended to maximize its speed but rather to minimize its CO2 emissions. While still maintaining Ferrari’s dedication to performance, the Ferrari Hy-Kers hybrid is the Italian brand’s first effort to go green.

Ferrari is not the only sports car manufacturer to address the increased awareness of environmental issues amongst buyers of luxury vehicles. From Porsche (whose 918 Spyder concept combines the performance of a supercar with the CO2 emissions of a small compact) to Lamborghini (whose CEO announced this week it would launch a hybrid Gallardo before 2015), sports car makers are approaching environmental concerns in a number of ways.

While hybrid technology (which uses an electric engine as a complement to V12s) is so far proving most popular with sports car manufacturers, some brands are proposing more innovative answers to the question of how to be green. Ruf Automotive, for example, are customizing Porsches to power them entirely with electric batteries that only require one hour of charging time. And Aston Martin has dispensed with the idea of adapting its sports cars for use in the city by putting forward the Cygnet, a Smart Car-like vehicle that is a fraction of the size of its usual models.

Another option for speed demons with an environmental conscience is one of the new breeds of car manufacturers dedicated to producing only electric or hybrid sports cars. Perhaps the most impressive in this niche segment of the market is Fisker Automotive, a company founded by industry-favorite car designer Henrik Fisker, who created the Aston Martins DB9 and V8, among other iconic cars. Fisker’s dedication to making supercars more ecologically sound is proof that the signature color of a Ferrari may not be red for much longer.

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept
This vehicle was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2010 and uses an innovative plug-in hybrid to reduce CO2 emission to that of a small compact car. Although a concept car, it is thought it could be in production within a year.

Ruf Greenster
Ruf Automotive is a German company that specializes in the custom fine-tuning of Porsches. Its Greenster concept uses a Siemens electric motor, which only requires one hour of charging. A small production run will begin before the end of 2010.

Aston Martin Cygnet
A small vehicle “with presence” is how Aston Martin intends to cater to environmentally aware drivers. Production is hoped to begin before the end of 2010.

Ferrari Hy-Kers Hybrid
Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show 2010, the Ferrari Hy-Kers Hybrid is green both outside and in. Based on the Ferrari 599, it is intended to comply with future CO2 emissions standards.

Fisker Karma
Orders are already being taken for this car, billed as “the world's first luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicle”. The first car from Fisker Automotive, it is designed by Henrik Fisker, who created the Aston Martins DB9 and V8.

Scorpion by Ronn Motor Company
The first vehicle from Ronn Motors will utilize a hydrogen fuel injection system, to blend gasoline with hydrogen, allowing the engine to operate with less fossil fuel.

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