13 January 2010

So green it’s... Verde!

Fledgling American firm creates Very Green Supercar, promises Lambo-thrashing performance and 100mpg. Hmmm

So green it's... Verde!

As we've mentioned a few times before, it's worth staying sceptical about start-up supercar manufacturers promising Lambo-thrashing performance at half the price.

And it's worth staying doubly sceptical when said start-up supercar manufacturer is also promising 100mpg to go with that Lambo-thrashing performance.

But if - and it's a big if - the Verde, this luminous supercar from American firm Revenge Design, can get anywhere near its claims, it should be worth keeping an eye on.

Unveiled at the Detroit show in not-quite-finished form, the Verde is based around the Ford GT platform. According to company boss Peter Collorafi, it'll be available with a range of ballastic engines (including the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 from the Corvette ZR1, which most definitely won't return 100mpg) the most interesting of which is a ‘green' V8 created by HP2g.

It runs on E85 bioethanol, and produces 400bhp, which should spell proper supercar acceleration. However, its makers claim it can average over 100mpg in gentle driving, using selective cylinder shutdown that allows the engine running on as little as a single cylinder to conserve fuel.

Where the HP2g engine differs from existing cylinder shutdown systems, as far as we can gather, is that it uses electro-magnetic assistance to ‘help’ those cylinders not burning fuel, and can rotate which chamber is firing to avoid excessive carbon build-up. There’s also a small electric motor on board to boost low-end torque, but details, as you might have guessed, are worryingly vague.

Also bear in mind that previous E85 engines boasting huge mpg claims have been guilty of only measuring the amount of petrol, not fuel, being consumed. Petrol only constitutes 15 per cent of E85. The Verde figure might be entirely transparent, of course. We’ll see.

Collorafi is promising a price tag of around $200,000, and plans to sell around 3,000 Verdes across the world over the next four years.

As we said, we’ll stay sceptical until the Verde reaches production. But hey, it’s good to dream…

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