by Matthew Young
Many people believe that purchasing a green car means giving up high performance and fast speed, but they are mistaken. Since green cars were introduced, many auto manufacturers have focused on making high performing cars more green. Recent models of many green cars offer high performance with a fun, fast ride. The five cars below offer high performance and excitement while still being considered green and efficient.
2014 McLaren P1
The 2014 McLaren P1 looks more like a car that a superhero would drive rather than a green car. It comes in a limited edition, with just 375 units that were manufactured and offered for sale at $1.15 million, and all of them sold. Under the hood, drivers will find a twin turbo 3.8-liter V-8 engine with 727 horsepower paired with a 177-hp electric motor that is powered by a lithium ion battery pack. The vehicle offers 930 horsepower and can accelerate to 62 miles per hour in just 2.1 seconds, or 186 miles per hour in under 18 seconds. With a top speed of 217 miles per hour, drivers can enjoy a thrilling ride while still taking advantage of the latest green technology.
Drivers of the 2014 McLaren P1 can select different drive modes including e-mode, normal, sport, track and race. There’s also a boost button that allows drivers to drive with only the gas engine, with the electric motor contributing to torque only when drivers press the Instant Power Assist System button on the steering wheel. In race mode, the car’s body drops down two inches and lifts the vehicle’s rear wing up nearly a foot above the body. McLaren reoprts that, while in race mode, the P1 creates 1,323 pounds of downforce at 61 miles per hour and can break from high speed at 2.0 g’s. The P1 is not street legal in race mode, given its high speeds.
2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
The 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder is a plug-in hybrid with awe inspiring specifications. The vehicle features a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine rated at over 600 horsepower that is paired with an electric hybrid system that brings the vehicle’s total horsepower to over 880. The vehicle offers 940 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 211 miles per hour. It can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds.
It was also the first production car ever made that broke the seven-minute barrier. The 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder is priced at $847,975. Porsche has also released the 2015 model, with two electric motors, one on the front and one on the rear axle. The 2015 model features a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine with 608 horsepower, and a combined output of 887 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque, so drivers can continue to experience a thrilling ride with a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
2014 BMW i8
Not wanting to be outdone in the high performance green car niche, BMW unveiled the 2014 BMW i8, with an impressive futuristic style. The 2014 i8 offers a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-liter engine and two electric motors that produce 357 horsepower. The vehicle has a top speed of 155 miles per hour, and it received impressive fuel economy ratings just below 30 miles per gallon. A three-cylinder engine drives the vehicle’s rear wheels. The i8 can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and produces 420 pound-feet of torque, which is impressive since the vehicle only weighs a mere 3,394 pounds.
Although the performance of the i8 is not as powerful as the other models highlighted, it is much more affordable than some higher end models, with a base price of just $137,495. Drivers can take advantage of multiple driving settings in the i8, including e-drive, EV, comfort, and sport.
2016 Acura NSX
The 2016 Acura NSX debuted at the beginning of the year at the Detroit Motor Show. It features impressive specifications, with a twin-turbocharged and intercooled 3.5-liter V-6 engine, over 500 horsepower, a zero to 60 miles per hour time of 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 190 miles per hour. The vehicle offers all-wheel drive with two motors that each drive one wheel. The vehicle features both a 1-speed direct drive and a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual shifting mode.
The 2015 Acura NSX was the first model to use ablation casting in the automotive industry. It performs at a high rate with a curb weight of 3,100 pounds. Honda was focused on providing the performance of an expensive sports car to a wide customer base with the NSX, so the base price of the 2016 Acura NSX is just $130,000.
2015 Koenigsegg Regera
After deciding to join in the fun of producing high performance green cars, Koenigsegg unveiled its Regera at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The 2015 Regera features a twin turbo 5.0-liter, V-8 engine with three electric motors that produce 1,500 horsepower and 1,475 pound-feet of torque.
The vehicle’s top speed is 248 miles per hour, and although this is lower than some supercar hybrid models, the amount of power the Regera offers allows it to accelerate faster than almost any other. The vehicle can reach its top speed in under 20 seconds, and it can accelerate from 93 to 155 miles per hour in an impressive 3.2 seconds. The car is priced at just over $2 million.
As more automakers move towards friendly options when it comes to supercars, drivers will be able to take advantage of the benefits of both hybrid green cars and high performing super cars in one vehicle. What are your thoughts on going hybrid? Would you choose a green sports car for yourself?