Published on December 29th, 2011 |
by Christopher DeMorro
The Top 8 Green Supercars Of 2011
For alternative fuel vehicles, 2011 is sure to go down as a watershed year. It isn’t just fringe wackos putzing about in homemade EV’s anymore, but massive corporations with billions of dollars at their disposal. Now green is being seen as a luxury, motivating many luxury companies and coach builders to start offering their elite clientle environmentally responsible supercars. So here is my countdown of the Top 8 Green Supercars of 2011.
Honestly, this car would be my number one choice, were it not a student-designed concept car, and an actual production-destined model. Even though it is destined never to be, it’s still a beautiful vision of what future Ferraris may resemble.
Given the green light earlier this year, the awkwardly-named e-Wolf Alpha2 will boast a driving range of 185 miles, a 0-60 mph time of under 4-seconds, and a price tag of over $400,000. Top speed? 230 mph, supposedly. Even though it is slated for limited production, none of us are likely to see one in our lifetimes.
Famed Mercedes tuning house Brabus is known for its ultra-expensive supercars. This time though they have develped a diesel-electric hybrid package and full-EV package for the Mercedes E-class that provides performance as well as efficiency. Rather than use traditional electric motors, these Brabus vehicles use Proton’s in-wheel hub motors for propulsion and improved get-up-and-go.
This open-roof roadster is by far the ballsiest of the green supercars on my list. A barely-street legal racer, the Veritas RSIII uses a 600 horsepower 5.0 liter BMW V10 to power the rear wheels, and an electric motor providing another 140 horsepower for the front wheels. An on board flywheel energy recovery system can charge the batteries while driving, or be plugged into a standard outlet, providing up to 30 miles of all-electric driving.
Boasting a whooping 1,088 horsepower, the gorgeously-styled Rimac Automobili is a real working model with a supposed driving range of almost 400 miles. Whether or not it will actually be built is besides the point; we need more EV’s that can look this eye-poppingly beautiful.
Leading us into the Top 3 is the Maxximus LNG 2000, the only natural gas-powered supercar to make our list. Playing on the supposed patriotism of natural gas, the Maxximus LNG 2000 has a highly modified all-aluminum V8 engine that can produce 1,500 horsepower. A 2,000 horsepower version named the Prodigy is also in the works.
What debuted as a twin-turbine concept car late last year has been greenlighted for production…sans the turbines. But it will keep the plug-in hybrid system, allowing the wheel-mounted electric motors to deliver up to 30 miles of all-electric range, as well as a 0-60 mph time somewhere in the 3-second range. What’s the cost for this pretty kitty? About $1.4 million, give or take a few hundred thousand.
While it may not cause as much as the Jag, the Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid will still set you back about $845,000. But for their part, Porsche has pledged to build the 918 with a mid-mounted 500 horsepower V8 and two electric motors providing all-wheel drive and another 218 horsepower. It’s barely green, but very cool.Why did I choose the 918 as #1? Because more than any other luxury automaker, Porsche is working tremendously hard to integrate hybrid drivetrains into their performance vehicles…and it seems to be working. Porsche is at the forefront of luxury performance hybrids, and if 2011 is anything like 2012, I expect ze Germans to deliver even more exciting news.