Motoring Ecofutureinhighgear Next-generationsupercarsaredrivinghometheneedforclean,greenroads Flight of fantasy: the GTBO is a cross between a motorbike and a jet Y OU know the green move- ment must be gathering pace when the most avid of petrolheads starts wor r y i n g ab ou t t he environmental impact of their wheels. And when BMW and even Ferrari hint that their future sports cars may have smaller, turbo-charged engines that are more powerful, but crucially more economi- cal than todays offerings, then even the least-perceptive motormouths can detect the beginnings of a revolu- tion on our roads. Believe it or not, Formula One is helping to blaze the trail. All F1 cars run on biofuel, and weve seen the introduction of the KERS system, technology that cleverly takes energy that would normally be wasted when the cars brake, and converts it into electricity that provides a power boost on demand. F1 drivers themselves even occasionally make concessions to green issues -- the former Honda team gave its drivers hybrid cars, while Australian F1s Mark Webber claims to prefer a bike to a motor. At first, this might seem rather irrelevant to the rest of us regular road-users. But the technology that will help the latest Porsches, Maseratis and Astons go further, as well as faster, will eventually find its way into our everyday road cars. After all, the flappy-paddle gearbox (the semi-auto- matic, clutch-free gear system) devel- oped for the Bugatti Veyron is now fitted to a host of VWs, Audis, Seats and Skodas, and Audi trounced all- comers at the 24-hour Le Mans event with a diesel-powered racer. The EU has plans to impose carbon dioxide restrictions across a manu- facturers range, with penalties for exceeding it -- so all car companies, even those that make the most exotic and expensive models, have, literally, to clean up their act. The models here may not all be on sale yet, and those that are carry a price tag outstripping their conven- tional rivals. But heres a look at the next generation of supercars aiming to replace ego with eco. HYDROGEN Ronn Motors Scorpion Price: 170,000 Top speed: 200mph 0-60mph: 3.5 seconds Eco rating: 7/10 TEXAS is the last place you would expect either a supercar or an eco- mobile to hail from, but in the Scorpion, we have both. It certainly looks the part and whats more, it has two power sources. The first is a standard mid-mounted Honda V6 but alongside it is an electrolysis unit that produces hydrogen on-board. By injecting the gas into the engine alongside the regular petrol and air mixture, Ronn claims the Scorpion will scuttle to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and still achieve 40mpg. HYBRID McLaren MP4-12C Price: 150,000 Top speed: n/a 0-60mph: n/a Eco rating: 3/10 MAYBE this is behind the F1 teams disastrous season. After all, who could blame the engineers for standing around and gawping at the firms latest road car? Taking its cue from the race cars in more than just style, the MP4 shares its name with Lewis Hamiltons racer as well as its very lightweight carbon fibre construction. Its maker claims it will be lighter and more slippery than all its rivals, help- ing it achieve the best CO2 emissions per horsepower of any car on sale. Although with a predicted 600bhp V8, thats not saying much. ELECTRIC Koenigsegg NLV Quant Price: n/a Top speed: 171mph 0-60mph: 5.2 seconds Eco rating: 10/10 IT MAY be just a concept at this stage but we wouldnt bet against the Swedish firm actually being crazy enough to make it. It was presented at the Geneva Motor Show as a four-door electric supercar. With a promising 500bhp, a range of 300 miles and a charging time of 20 minutes, its well ahead of current electric cars. The bodywork is even covered with solar cells, making sure the car goes quicker when the sun is shining. Tesla Roadster Price: 50,000 Top speed: 130mph 0-60mph: 4 seconds Eco rating: 8/10 ONE advantage electric motors have for sports car manufacturers is that they produce maximum torque from the outset and this is what gives the Tesla acceleration to outstrip even the lightweight Lotus Elise, on which it is based. The firm promises 0-60mph in four seconds, a top speed of 130mph and a range of 220 miles. On sale now for a hefty 50,000 but of course it costs just pennies to run, especially if you charge it off-peak. Venturi Fetish Price: 450,000 Top speed: 105mph 0-60mph: 3.9 seconds Eco rating: 7/10 THE first Land Speed Record car, La Jamais Contente of 1899, was both French and electrically powered, so its fitting that this Gallic oddball beat the Tesla to the market by a couple of years, making it the worlds first pro- duction electric sports car -- although the word production is a stretch, since only 25 of the 250bhp two-seaters are being built. Remarkably, the maker claims a range of 220 miles and a recharge time of one minute per mile. Given that it is made in Monaco, the price is suitably lavish. BIOFUEL Bentley Continental Supersports Price: 163,000 Top speed: 204mph 0-60mph: 3.9 seconds Eco rating: 1/10 CLAIMING green credentials for run- ning a car on biofuels is rather a fudge, particularly when it is a two and a half-tonne behemoth. Bentley does claim to have cut some weight from the Supersports but it still packs a 12-cylinder, twin-turbo engine that produces 621bhp and fuel consumption approaching single figures. Koenigsegg CCXR Price: 1.2m Top speed: 259mph 0-60mph: 2.9 seconds Eco rating: 2/10 OKAY, so this isnt that green, deliver- ing somewhere around 17mpg from its 4.7-litre, twin-supercharged V8. But the CCX on which it is based set one of the fastest laps on the Top Gear track and this one, thanks to the fact that it runs on biofuel, delivers 25 per cent more power -- about 1,000bhp. HYDROGEN thats not saying much. FANTASY DRIVES Acabion GTBO Price: 1.4m Top speed: 340mph 0-300mph: 30 seconds Eco rating: 9/10 HOW does 340mph and 100mpg from a cross between a motor- bike and a jet fighter sound? Thats what the Swiss makers of the GTBO are claiming. A turbo-charged motorbike engine plus an electric motor are the power behind the claims, helped by an aerodynamic shape. At 100mph it will be doing 100mpg. All for a cool 1.4m. Wrightspeed X1 Price: on application Top speed: 117mph 0-60mph: 3.1 seconds Eco rating: 8/10 ADDING an electric motor aptly demonstrates the potential of the Ariel Atom. It beat several super- cars in a drag race while achiev- ing the equivalent of 117mpg. You just have to persuade inven- tor Ian Wright to build one. 100mpg. All for a cool 1.4m. Wrightspeed X1 40 Friday, 23 October 2009 London Lite BY HENRY BIGGS when the sun is shining. BIOFUEL index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html