Monday, August 17, 2009

Where are the truely fuel efficent sportscars?

I just read the list of cars producing less than 120 gr/km CO2, published by the German car magazine "auto motor und sport". The list shows about 80 cars, coming from manufacturers such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Mazda, Ford, Fiat, Citroen, Renault, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Chevrolet, etc. Most of the cars have a Diesel engine, only about 25% have gasoline engines. Three hybrid cars (Honda Insight, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius) can be found in top quarter. But while these cars may make small families and commuters happy, there's nothing on this list that will excite sportscar fans.
I think it hasn't to be like this! A Smart Coupé oder Convertible would certainly be able to drive with less than 120 gr/km CO2 if the technology of today was applied. Or why shouldn't Artega build a version of its gorgeous sportscar with a downsized KERS enabled 1.8 or 1.4 liter engine? The technology is there! Just take the Volkswagen 1.4 liter Turbo engine (170 HP) and combine it with a simple hybrid unit as produced by Connaught Engineering as retrofit for the Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit. An optimized unit would probably be less than 50 kg light, thanks to the supercap approach and the additional weight would easily be compensated by the smaller engine and other weight reductions possible. Would this be a big seller? Maybe not, but there's certainly a segment of people who would trade in efficiency against excess power. It has worked in the 60ies with the Fiat 850 Spider for example, and it can work again now.

1 comment:

John L said...

We have to be thinking along those lines before it's too late.