As giant European carmakers battle environmentalists and lawmakers over emissions curbs, makers of classic European sports cars like the Aston Martin DB9, Ferrari F430 and Porsche 911 are concerned the new laws will destroy their lifeblood.
Environmentalists say today’s supercars, with huge engines pumping out up to three times as much carbon dioxide as the average vehicle, have no place in a world struggling to rein in climate change.
But Lamborghini and its rivals contend that theirs is a rare art that needs protecting, blending classic European design elements with cutting-edge technologies that can help save the planet. They also argue that sports cars usually only leave the garage on the weekend, contributing just 0.3 percent of European Union car emissions.
But there’s a solution from the U.S.:
Although electric sports cars like the U.S.-based Tesla are available, customers might be slow to embrace that technology. “An Aston Martin is a very emotional drive, and how much of the appeal would be lost with an electric engine?” Yorke-Biggs said. “It would take time for our customer base to accept that.”
Actually, electric motors have one big performance advantage over their petrol or diesel counterparts: they have torque at 0 RPM, which means there’s no putting it in gear, revving it up or even having to start from idle to get it going. Just put the voltage to the motor and let it rip. The big problem with electric cars has always been the battery life, which explains the complexities of the hybrid.
Since a lot of the thrill of a petrol engine is the noise, one could simulate it through the speaker system. Most of them are loud enough to be felt; they vibrate the chassis. That may not be what refined Europeans are looking for, but it’ll work for some of the rest of us.