Over the weekend I learned of a few unsuspecting (at least to me anyway) new backers of the green initiative, which for this post, I'm dubbing "Green-backs". The first Green-back is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his purchase of a Tesla. Not so surprising being that he has the responsibility to set the tone for the initiative in "Cal-e-for-knee-a" as he pronounces it, and not so much because of his background in bodybuilding and the movies as a tough guy action hero, but because of his previous choices in automobiles like HUMMERs (several), and being spotted in a 6.1L V8 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 as early as this weekend. He also has his own jet.
The other Green-back I wasn't expecting were the writers of GQ magazine and their glowing endorsement of cars that aren't hybrids, but very efficient. They seem to know their audience (and some of our customer group at the same time I think) very well, which is reflected in the statement, "If high performance or design is not that important to you, buy a Prius." They gone on to say that "...if you want to have a more balanced approach, consider one of these nonhybrid, but surprisingly efficient cars." The cars they reference are the MINI Cooper S ($21,200, 26/34 MPG city/hwy, 0-60 in 6.7 sec, 172 HP, 177 ftlb), the Porsche Cayman ($49,400, 20/29 MPG city/hwy, 0-60 in 5.8 sec, 245HP, 201 ftlb) and finally the MB E320, which if you've been following my blog, you will know uses our power plant of choice for the first LM prototype - the Bluetec V6 Diesel, which powers the over 3700 lb E320 from 0-60 MPH in 6.6 sec, has 210 HP and a whopping 400 ftlb of torque. Here's what the writers had to say about it:
"Diesel cars are the norm in Europe, but in the U.S. they still hold the stigma of being loud, sluggish, and stinky. The E320 Bluetec will make you a diesel convert, however. It's quiet, clean, and powerful, and has a hybridlike fuel economy. A full tank will take you almost 700 miles."
Couldn't have said it better myself. Maybe you'll see the LM prototype in a follow up article in the pages of GQ in the near future.
Lastly, another reason why I think they may be speaking to some of our potential customers is that the article isn't just about well designed, high performance "green" cars, is that the whole article (the automotive part is only a small section) isn't trying to suggest that you alone can save the planet, but you can make some small adjustments to help out and improve your already well designed, high performance lifestyle. It's aptly titled, "You can't save the planet. But you can eat better than you ever have, travel like you've always wanted to, and surround yourself with beatiful things - and still help out with the environment." (Check it out on pg. 85 of the July 2008 issue)