Following the trend towards more eco-friendly automobiles, exotic car makers such as Ferrari, Porsche, and Bentley have joined the fray, developing high-end green vehicles for environmentally-conscious, wealthy individuals. While most of us will never see, let alone step foot in these vehicles, the automakers are dedicated to doing what they can to join the green movement.
This month, Ferrari launched a green version of its California coupe-convertible called HELE, which has a stop-start system that cuts the engine at stop lights, saving energy in the process and reducing (according to the automaker) carbon dioxide emissions in the city by as much as 23%. The sticker price of the HELE is $251,000 dollars.
Bentley plans to release its Continental GT Coupe next year, which boasts a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the standard 12 cylinder model to a V8 engine. The auto maker also hopes to create vehicles compatible with ethanol by the year 2012.
Also joining the green movement, Porsche AG is developing the 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid vehicle capable of traveling 78 miles per gallon. Carrying a whopping price tag of approximately $680,000, the Spyder isn’t cheap.
Of these vehicles, Christoph Stuermer, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Frankfurt, said, “These upper-end, high-performance cars have always been examples of the best car technology out here, and being green is now part of being technologically advanced. They have to come up with something so as not to be seen as technical dinosaurs.”
BMW AG joins the movement with a plug-in car due in 2013 or 2014 capable of going from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and producing 62 mpg.
Damler AG Mercedes is also expected to develop some electric powered models of its SLS AMG, and Lotus, Audi, Lamborghini, and Jaguar are considering greener vehicles.
The addition of high-end autos to the green vehicles movement is a good sign of things to come. Traditionally leading the way in automotive technology, these auto makers have the potential to further develop green vehicle technology that can be used in less-expensive models.