Sexy performance meets ‘green’ ethic at Detroit auto show

To look over the roster of racy new and future vehicles at the 2014 North American International Auto Show here, the initial impression is that U.S., European and Asian automakers want to turn back the clock to a time when performance and speed trumped concerns about energy and the environment.

So-called green cars — electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells — are being heavily overshadowed at the Detroit show by sports cars, in a broad spectrum of sizes, shapes and price segments, from Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) redesigned 2015 Mustang to Kia Motors’ (000270.KS) zippy GT4 Stinger concept.

Sex sells. Speed sells,” said Michael Tracy, principal at Michigan-based consultancy the Agile Group. “People don’t talk about wanting to buy a Camaro because the base V6 gets great mileage.

A HINT OF GREEN

In fact, there is more than a hint of green lurking in even the sexiest sports cars at this year’s Detroit auto show, which opens for media members this week. Take the new Mustang, which this fall will offer buyers the choice of a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 – a throwback to the classic street cars of yesteryear – or an economical 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that still cranks out an impressive 305 horsepower.

“We’re seeing a new era of performance cars that are very safe, very fuel-efficient and more mainstream,” said industry consultant Lincoln Merrihew, of Millward Brown Digital.

The latest edition of Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) Golf R, which goes on sale in early 2015 in the United States, is a good example. — Full Story at Reuters

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