green luxury cars

High cost, high speed and environmentally friendly?

High performance luxury cars going green? Really?

The concept sounds wrong. The whole deal behind a macho sports car is that it can go faster and cost more doing it than anybody else on the road. Nobody's considered making a low-geared high-mileage diesel Hummer for instance.

But Wall Street Journal reporter Vanessa Fuhrmans addresses the potential trend in a story this week. She quotes Enrico Galliera, commercial and marketing senior vice president at Ferrari, as saying: "When we approached customers and said, 'Here's a way you can still have that and be greener,' the reaction was extremely positive."

Many of my high school friends had a poster of a Ferrari Testarossa alongside Farrah Fawcett on their walls in the 1970s. They weren't concerned with mileage any more than they were concerned with Farrah's overabundance of sexuality.

Yet, Galliera also told Fuhrmans: "When you consider buying a Ferrari, you're considering it for the performance."

That I can believe. But the story also lists efforts by automakers to become more environmentally conscious in a number of areas. For instance, Ferrari unveiled a green coupe for California that cuts emissions up to 23 percent and has a feature that shuts the engine off at stoplights.

Next year, Bentley's Continental GT Coupe will offer a V8 that emits a reported 40 percent less carbon dioxide than the V12.

Perspective is everything.

In addition, Porsche plans a plug-in hybrid, BMW has approved production of a plug-in hybrid supercar, Audi has embraced clean diesel, Mercedes may go electric on its gull-winged SLS AMG and others like Lotus, Lamborghini, and Jaguar are looking to bark up the same tree.

First of all, Tesla beat them all. That performance car does it all with no fossil fuels. But the company still hasn't posted a profit and sales aren't yet meeting optimistic hopes.

Whether the market's there will be determined relatively soon. I just read Steve Forbes noting something I've been watching for some time. He said fossil fuels will be around longer than many think. Drilling techniques have opened up vast natural gas fields.

We may see a conversion to natural gas rather than battery/hybrid power.

It's definitely better than when my best friend Eric Storms purchased a 1964 Dodge Coronet with a push-button transmission and a V8 that blew blue smoke out the tailpipe. We both fell in love with the car. It burned the tires and got everybody looking. Unfortunately, they stared because of the roiling plume of smoke that poured from the vehicle as we drove by.

We sat in it planning. We would paint it, toss in some new rings, maybe put in a back seat.

We never did. Just parking it probably kept the global temperature from warming 10 degrees by now. If we'd continued our plan, we'd be driving up to Prudhoe Bay to see an ice-free Arctic Ocean in December.
So, here's my thought. Want a green car? Buy a small displacement daily driver. Then, if you can afford it, buy something that can pound my friend Al's Trans Am and its confoundedly fast big block.