Going Green: How Sports Cars are Evolving

Categorized | Automotive, Transportation

Sports Cars Go Green

This is a guest post by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek. If you would like to write an article, please read How to Become an Author

The green auto trend, which started over a decade ago with the introduction of hybrid cars and more fuel-efficient models, has finally spread to an arena that many gearheads consider sacred: sports cars. Young men and boys don’t drool over a fuel efficient, compact car that features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and reduced carbon emissions. They want power, looks and speed from their sports car!

Ferrari, Porsche and the other big sports car manufacturers know they must go green to stay competitive and adhere to future global carbon emissions standards. From integrating recycled materials to solar powered GPS touch screens, there are several ways sports cars are stepping into the modern and environmentally friendly global world, without losing an iota of their attitude.

Carbon Emissions

One of the world’s largest super and sports car manufacturers, Ferrari, has pledged to reduce its vehicle’s carbon emissions by 40 percent come 2015. This is a seemingly benevolent gesture, but one that is spurred by the 2015 deadline placed on all European manufactured cars that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Voted on by the European Parliament in 2007, the decree states that all new vehicles manufactured in Europe, including sports cars, must adhere to the strict carbon emission reduction policy. The European Commission’s goal is to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Fisker Karma EcoChic

Several manufacturers are tweaking their model’s to incorporate several eco-conscious features. None have taken it to the next level, though, quite like the Fisker Karma EcoChic. The 2012 model is powered by a 2L, turbo-charged four cylinder engine that supplements and charges the 20kWh lithium-ion battery pack. As with the Chevy Volt, the EcoChic promises the first 50 miles driven on a fully-charged battery won’t require the use of a single drop of fuel. Once the battery is drained, the fuel-driven engine components kick in and recharge the battery. The EcoChic also features mats constructed from corn fibers, reclaimed wood interior finish, seats covered with 100 percent recycled polyester EcoSuede and a solar-powered sunroof. All of this is combined with a 403hp engine and the supercar’s ability to go from 0-60 mph in a respectable 6.3 seconds.

Other Contenders

Fisker Karma isn’t the only sports car manufacturer jumping on the eco-conscious bandwagon. Here are a few more luxury sports cars manufactured with needs of an environmentally friendly driver in mind:

  1. Tesla Roadster – Thanks to several celebrities – including George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice – the Tesla Roadster is the most recognizable of the new eco-friendly sports cars. This roadster can travel an impressive 244 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery while attaining 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
  2. Citroen C-Metisse – Unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, French car manufacturer Citroen’s aim was to manufacture a performance hybrid car that can hold its own with its diesel and gasoline-powered competition. The sports car gets an unheard of 36 mpg and drives in a variety of modes, including Zero-Emission, all electric and diesel mode for longer trips. The diesel engine recharges the lithium-ion battery during deceleration while reaching top speeds of 155 mph.
  3. Venturi Fetish – If you’ve got an extra $500,000 lying around, and want to reduce your carbon footprint, consider a Venturi Fetish. Believed by many to be the world’s first production electric two-seat sports car, the Fetish boasts a 30 kWh lithium-ion battery that can recharge after just one hour. A full charge and tank of gas will get to 250 miles, but don’t expect to find this car at your local dealership. Only 25 are produced each year.

In Your Own Garage

You might not have the resources to purchase these state-of-the-art, eco-friendly sports cars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own ride a little greener. Here are a few ways to save the world by driving the car or truck you already have parked in your driveway:

  • Check your tires for proper inflation. This can save you as much as 3 to 5% on your annual fuel costs.
  • Change your air filter regularly to improve your gas mileage by up to 10%. This means you’re using less gas to get around, which reduces your car’s carbon footprint.
  • Observe the speed limit, or drive a little slower, to reduce the amount of gas consumed by your vehicle by up to 23%.
  • Lose the unnecessary items in the truck. Place your golf club in the garage and remove your child’s sporting goods equipment to lighten your vehicle’s load, which reduces gas consumption.

When purchasing a new car, look for eco-conscious features, including a gas/electric hybrid engine and increased fuel economy. Find a vehicle whose engine cooling fan assembly is simple so when the time comes for a replacement, it is a simple fix. Even purchasing a GPS-equipped vehicle is a step toward being more environmentally conscious. After all, your GPS keeps you from getting lost, and wasting fuel to find your way home.

About Edson Farnell

Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek.

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