Earth Day Comparo: Which Exotic Is Greenest?

2009-porsche-911-turbo-automobilesdeluxeIs Porsche the greenest?

By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG Porsche

OH, yes! It’s Earth Day!

If you live in these United States, you know that each year on April 22nd Americans take a moment to appreciate that Mother Nature provides our one and only home. Just to be different, the UN acknowledges this gift on the March Equinox.

Since cars and their fuel efficiency ratings are weighed heavily in the ongoing scientific analysis of our environment, those most… eco-conscientious… of sports car buyers who might seek speed AND fuel economy have some options.

The easy choice would be to buy a Lotus Exige 260 – a go-kart car that runs circles around most “sports cars”, the li’l Lotus uses only a four banger and can do 26 mpg on the highway.

But Colin Chapman’s stripped racers aren’t for everyone – especially for those who want the roar of an American V8, cushy security behind a German V12, or a tryst with a hot headed Italian V10.

Consider, then, the following assorted selection of exotics – their horsepower ratings and combined average (city/highway) miles per gallon:


Ferrari California | 460 hp V8 | 12.5 avg mpg



Aston Martin DBS | 510 hp V12 | 14 avg mpg



Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG | 604 hp V12 | 14.5 avg mpg



Audi R8 | 420 hp V8 | 15.5 avg mpg



Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 | 560 hp V10 | 16 avg mpg



Dodge Viper SRT-10 | 600 hp V10 | 17 avg mpg



Corvette ZR1 | 638 hp V8 | 17 avg mpg



Nissan GT-R | 420 hp V6 | 18.5 avg mpg



Porsche 911 Turbo | 480 hp flat-6 | 19.5 avg mpg

While Porsche’s flagship wins strictly on average consumption points, the Americans prove more efficient than Ze Germans! The Viper and Vette have 120 and 158 more horsepower, respectively, than the turbocharged 911’s 480 hp and come close to the aft-driven Porsche’s economical performance.

And who says American cars are unrepentant gas hogs?

The Aston and AMG Benz¬† both disappoint; their V12s falling well behind frugal ‘Merican muscle.

Lamborghini scores well in power to consumption ratio – and indeed does better than its Teutonic cousin – the less powerful Audi R8. Take that, Ingolstadt: the Bull is greener!

What’s our conclusion?¬† Which exotic is the “greenest”?

If it’s by the numbers lowest consumption – the Porsche wins. If it’s hp/mpg balance, the ZR1 wins handily followed closely by Dodge’s Viper.

April 22, 2009

About the Author: Gunnar Heinrich is publisher of Automobiles De Luxe online and is executive producer of the Automobiles De Luxe Television series on PBS member station CPTV.

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  1. But is fuel consumption the only way to measure how green a car is? Despite the Audi consuming more fuel than the Lamborghini, it actually produces less CO2 emissions. 19 less grams per 100km.

  2. earth day is an interesting event having an empty road free from cars.

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