It's not that easy being green, least of all if you're a builder of exotic, high performance supercars or uberluxury sedans. Recently however, there has been a move towards improving fuel economy and reducing emissions by many of the world's biggest and most well known luxury and performance brands.
Take Ferrari's stop-start equipped California HELE or Mercedes-Benz's SLS AMG E-Cell concept, for instance. And there's more on the horizon, including the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder from Porsche and BMW's Vision EfficientDynamics, the latter of which allegedly will offer M3 performance with a CO2 emissions rating of just 99 grams per kilometer.
And it's not just these four who are in it for the environmental crowd cred: other makers including Lotus, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Bentley are also looking to green up their model ranges.
This comes as no surprise to Christoph Stuermer, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Frankfurt:
"These upper-end, high-performance cars have always been examples of the best car technology out here, and being green is now part of being technologically advanced They have to come up with something so as not to be seen as technical dinosaurs."
Enrico Galliera, the commercial and marketing senior VP at Ferrari, agrees that it's definitely something that the company's customers are all for:
"When you consider buying a Ferrari, you're considering it for the performance. At the same time, when we approached customers and said, 'Here's a way you can still have that and be greener,' the reaction was extremely positive."
So there you have it. Now you can have your cake and eat it too, though you'll have to pay for the cake part first. And with prices around €180,000 (US$252,376) for the California HELE and an expected €500,000 (US$682,260) for the 918 Spyder that is one expensive, green frosted cake.
PS: Metaphors aren't my strong point...
By Tristan Hankins