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2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S – Click above for high-res image gallery

With U.S. emission standards continually becoming ever more stringent, Porsche has decided to take a stand. According to the company, new regulations forthcoming "would perversely require Porsche to become the fuel efficiency leader in the United States." As you can imagine, making sports cars that achieve the industry standard of 42 miles per gallon by 2016 is not on the easy to do list and Porsche would like to avoid the situation if at all possible.

The company has taken the first steps of petitioning both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation and requesting a partial exemption for low-volume sports cars. The company cites two problems with the future regulations. First, sports cars are not as efficient as everyday vehicles. Low-volume makers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini focus solely on sports cars, which can't possibly meet the lofty mpg goals set. Second, while many other automakers must meet a fleet average of 35 mpg, Porsche will be required to be closer to 42 mpg. Why? Fleet averages combine trucks (with a regulatory goal of 26.6 mpg by 2016) and cars (42 mpg by 2016). If an automaker sells a significant amount of trucks that beat the 26.6 number, it can offset some cars that fall below the listed goals. Needless to say, Porsche doesn't specialize in trucks and will be required to have a fleet average close to 42 mpg, which the company believes is unfair.

Porsche vehicles are widely regarded as some of the most efficient offerings in its class, but pushing for 42 mpg without crushing the heritage of the brand will be a daunting task.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]


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  • 47 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "It's less expensive at the pump, but it's subsidized right now"

      I already addressed this issue. The subsidy is modest, and unnecessary. Even right now, the subsidy more than pays for itself financially, and is worth it for environmental and national security reasons anyway.

      "AND you get something like 70% the gas mileage of petroleum. Take away the subsidy and it's more expensive"

      Once again, I already explained why mileage is irrelevant. What matters is whether the fuel burns more cleanly, can't have its price spiked by a monopoly cartel, and doesn't fund terrorist extremism.

      "And isn't e85 subsidized at $1-$2 per gallon? that's pretty radical."

      No, it's around 50 cents a gallon, the same as our import duty on ethanol. They offset.

      "Why would we want foreign ethanol if the idea of using ethanol is to stop importing petroleum anyway?"

      Because Brazil is not a terrorist nation and does not export terrorism-promoting extremism.

      "And methanol is a good fuel since it's naturally occurring, but there is only so much of it.. It's also one of the worst global warming gases in existance ( far worse than Carbon Oxides ), so i wonder what it turns into when it's combusted?"

      You're confusing methanol (which is a liquid) with methane (which is a gas, also called natural gas).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Porsche doesn't sell trucks?


      Um...


      Hasn't the Cayenne been their biggest seller in the US?
      • 5 Years Ago
      but 42MPG by 2016, that's rather ambitious for a country like USA. not that it's at all impossible and kudos on that legislation but didn't know something that ambitious had passed. anyone know a website about that law?
        • 5 Years Ago
        this is from before Obama's update but quite informative graph anyway
        http://www.urbanecoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/cafe-standards-04-02-2009.png

        cant find a similar graph the updated though. neither wiki nor nhtsa. can't get a straight answer anywhere. would like an official source that states the 42MPG for 2016 cars clearly
        • 5 Years Ago
        Some good info here:

        http://green.autoblog.com/2009/10/12/greenlings-what-is-cafe/

        It seems to me that Porsche could solve their problem by making all of their cars E85 compatible.

        Or, they could pas an $825 per car fine along to consumers. (assuming they achieve 27 mpg and are required to meet 42 mpg)
        • 5 Years Ago
        The ethanol exemption is not a "loophole". It wouldn't make sense to penalize a vehicle that can run on renewable, clean-burning, non enemy funding fuel as if it were locked in to petroleum only.

        Even if a flex fuel vehicle is sold in an area that has few or no E85 stations, by having been sold it makes the spread of E85 stations more possible. The more flex fuel vehicles, the higher the market share of ethanol compatible cars, the more business sense it makes for a filling station owner to switch a pump to ethanol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... the ethanol loophole.

        THAT's why a lot of domestic SUVs/trucks are flex fuel compatible.

        It all makes sense now!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with them in principle. That being said, a cobalt ss (bad comparison I know) gets 31 mpg with 260 hp. I think they can do it and still be a quick car.
      Funny thing is they are regulating all the emissions from cars and not doing anything for ships and trains. I read somewhere that one ship crossing the pacific, puts out the equivalent of 5 brazillion cars. ; )
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're changing the subject.

        CAFE comes from the National HIGHWAY Traffic Safety Administration. It came about when the “Energy Policy Conservation Act,” enacted into law by Congress in 1975, added Title V, “Improving AUTOMOTIVE Efficiency,” to the Motor VEHICLE Information and Cost Savings Act.

        Regulating worldwide shipping is hard because the boats just register wherever they're regulated least, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_convenience . Recently "the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) ... had considered a proposal submitted by Japan, Norway and the US designed to increase the adoption of technical and operational measures that can reduce CO2 emissions from ships." China and India objected, naturally. In 2011 a low-emissions buffer zone around the US and Canada will come into effect. Interesting stuff, http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2260388/shipping-industry-climate

        Despite the awful smog emissions, shipping is an extremely efficient way to move vast quantities of goods. One analysis puts the shipping sector at 3% of global CO2, another at 5%. Road transport is at around 16%.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Last time i checked, water vehicles are not that great on gas :p
        Me and a friend were looking at house boats and apparently they get ~5mpg or so.
        So what's a shipping boat get... 0.0005mpg?

        And usually they are running on the crappiest, dirtiest fuel ever, bunker fuel :|

        Diesel would be nice but i think the particulate emissions would be equally horrendous if not more.

        We just need to ship less, period..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, ships are effin' horrendous and most likely super-low-tech.
        The problem is that no government exists in the ocean to regulate emissions there :p
        If we put regulations in ship engines then China will just build them with little to no emissions regulations.

        Sucks. Somebody needs to crack down. All this shipping we do between the USA and China is effin' insane.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, neptronix, shipping and rail are extremely fuel efficient, not that fuel efficiency matters.

        What we could do if we wanted to end petroleum's monopoly status as a shipping fuel is to say that all vessels delivering cargo to the US must use DME diesel fuel, which is clean-burning and not based on petroleum. There'd be a lot of squawking about trade rules though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the thing is, it might be efficient *for what it is*, but the fact that we buy half our goods or more from China/Asia now.. means that we do a hellova lot of it.

        Being registered as a Chinese ship makes sense. They can get away with that crap but we sure as hell can't here.. thanks for the insight, skierpage.

        Okay yeah we are totally getting off topic... :P
      • 5 Years Ago
      Porsche is now associated with VW in that VW owns Porsche stock and has made an attempt to buy them out. I don't see why the exception is necessary if the EPA can legally consider the tie in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nicholas:

        I am also an advocate of electric drive and at the same time race an old '72 240z on road courses. I can envision one fast electric Porsche in sprint racing; but, I think other than the suspention system and the aero package, the old Z might be almost equal if it contained the same battery drive train. It's the current ICE drive and racing history that makes the Porsche the more desirable. And, of course the high price necessary to join the exclusive club of Porsche owners. An electric Porsche might need to start all over again to build up the brand. And, where would be that exhaust sound of the turbo flat six engine?
        • 5 Years Ago
        VW also owns Audi, Lamborghini and Bugatti. Their performance edge is likely to hurt them with the CAFE.

        Porsche should be thinking electric, not hybrid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The sound of an ICE can be replicated in an EV. It's just a matter of having speakers underneath the vehicle pointed downward. You can have your electric vehicle sound like any vehicle, from a sports car like the Porsche to a UFO or anywhere in between. That being said, most vehicle makers are working overtime trying to silence the ICE noise pollution. But it's an option to think about.

        Race tracks could be rethought to include inductive charging so that the vehicles need no (or very small) batteries. And racecars should all be electric. Then you'd have some truly fast performance vehicles. Driver skill would be the only factor determining who wins a race, not mechanical problems or ICE inefficiencies.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tom:
        Nothing would please me more than to have the instant torque of an electric drive line, harsh regen-braking and ultra-grip tires in my Datsun. I'll skip the speakers...no extra weight needed; just lightness, enough battery power and its necessary weight to run 30 minute sprints.

        It's all about last second braking in the corners, "slow in," and acceleration asap out of the turns, "fast out," and as long as the car can accelerate down the straights...under control at all times...on the edge racing; nothing like it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Deny them. Make them come out with a Tesla-like electric sports car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Slap a VW label on them and be done with it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Or do what Aston-Martin is doing (and I'm quite sure this is in response to not only North American emission standards but also the Euro CO2 emission standards): Buy any expensive but fuel-guzzling Aston-Martin, and you get another manufacturer's cheap economy car badged as an Aston-Martin included in the deal!

      If the free economy car costs less than the potential fine per vehicle then maybe it's financially worthwhile, although one wonders whether the Aston-Martin buyers will just throw the Cygnet in the garbage, rendering the whole thing a big, expensive, wasteful, useless exercise.

      Better to just charge a higher tax on motor fuels ...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time to bust out the four cylinder turbos. Can't say I feel too sorry for Porsche tbqh.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeaahh... that sucks.

      It creates another CAFE 'hack' where people start actively selling trucks/SUVs to lower their CAFE exemption.. LOL

      NOT a good idea.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boo-hoo. No tears from me.

      Particularly with the likes of Tesla out there - with some tweaking, the Roadster can beat any street-legal sports car ever made, from improving the interior appointments to handling, acceleration and range.

      If anything, when it comes to CAFE standards, trucks need to be re-defined to cut the bullshit:

      Only trucks should be trucks - using Ford's lineup as an example: F-series pickups, E-series vans, the Ranger, and the Sportrac. If I was in a good mood, I'd add the Expedition to this list. That keeps the original spirit of the CAFE laws intact.

      Everything else, from the Explorer to the Fiesta, should be in the "car" category. That's what they are used for anyway - personal use for getting the individual and/or family and associated baggage from A to B and back again.

      Those are the facts and the reality that needs to be acknowledged and acted upon accordingly.

      For those that would cry "no fair" at my proposal, consider the fact that my 2010 Mercury Mariner hybrid (the twin of the Ford Escape hybrid), an SUV, has short-term acceleration better than the regular V6 model while getting 37 mpg overall. I've had no problems or worries merging into multi-lane, 60+mph traffic - in fact, it's better than any car I've ever driven, from a V8 Cadillac to an I4 Scion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Drop the mania for fuel efficiency! It's irrelevant. Being able to roll a little further down the road on filthy, planet-fouling, economy-crashing, terrorist-funding petroleum makes no difference at all.

      In the first place, population and economic growth swamp fuel efficiency gains. We improved average fuel efficiency from 13 mpg to 20 from 1976 to 1990 thanks to CAFE, but despite being able to go the same distance on much less fuel, fuel consumption went not down but UP, from 89 to 103 billion gallons a year. So trying to reduce fuel consumption is hopeless.

      Secondly, even if somehow everyone did reduce their fuel consumption, OPEC could just lower production to match, spike the per-unit price, and make just as much as before on reduced sales volume, so the extremists' terror budget is totally unaffected.

      So all the efforts to force unwilling consumers into slow, weak, humiliating austerity-mobiles are not only futile, they are completely pointless.

      The real way forward is to leave petroleum behind. The simplest and easiest way to do that is to mandate that all new gasoline cars be fully flex-fueled, able to run on gasoline or any alcohol fuel (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, etc.) Many alcohols are renewable, and all are clean burning, cannot be controlled and have their price spiked by a cartel, and will not fund extremism and terror. With a broad resource base, scalability, and major environmental benefits, they are well-positioned to accommodate short and mid term rising demand for fuel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "fill 'er up with something that you get worse gas mileage with..."

        As I just carefully explained, mileage is irrelevant.

        "costs more..."

        Actually, E85 typically costs less per gallon than gasoline.

        http://e85prices.com/

        Yes, on a per mile basis it sometimes costs more, but if we dropped our stupid tariffs designed to wall out cheap foreign ethanol, the price would go down.

        Also, methanol fuel is very cheap, even on a per-mile basis. In 2007, when gas prices were pushing $4 a gallon, methanol was selling for 80 cents, or about $1.60 on a gasoline gallon equivalent basis. A lot of families would be happy to fill up once a week instead of twice a month if they could cut their total monthly vehicle fuel bill by more than half.

        "needs federal subsidy"

        Ethanol doesn't NEED a subsidy. It does get a subsidy of less than $10 billion a year, far less than the hundreds of billions extra we pay for oil prices that are artificially increased by OPEC. The Wall Street Journal reported that a Merrill Lynch study showed that biofuels reduced oil prices by up to 15%, thus the subsidy more than pays for itself.

        Again, we allowed in cheap foreign ethanol, the price would be very low. US farmers wouldn't fear that competition if we made alcohol compatibility a standard feature in all new cars, which would give them so much business they couldn't keep up with all the demand anyway.

        "and produces a different type of harmful pollutants ( just don't stand or live near the roads! )"

        Every thing emits something when you burn it. You have to take the overall situation into consideration, and it makes sense to choose alcohol over petroleum.

        Alcohol emits no smog- and lung-cancer causing particulates, no acid rain causing sulfur, and significantly less ozone smog causing NOx. Unlike gasoline it is neither a carcinogen nor a mutagen. And unlike gasoline it cannot pollute the water because it is both water soluble (dissolving away into untraceably small portions rather than remaining concentrated) and biodegradable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And methanol is a good fuel since it's naturally occurring, but there is only so much of it..
        It's also one of the worst global warming gases in existance ( far worse than Carbon Oxides ), so i wonder what it turns into when it's combusted?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah! fill 'er up with something that you get worse gas mileage with, costs more, needs federal subsidy, and produces a different type of harmful pollutants ( just don't stand or live near the roads! )

        Problem solved
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's less expensive at the pump, but it's subsidized right now AND you get something like 70% the gas mileage of petroleum. Take away the subsidy and it's more expensive.. consider the fact that it contains less energy and the numbers look much worse.

        http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/columns/biofuels-economics/new-energy-economics-removing-ethanol-subsidy-increases-bankruptcy-risk

        ^--- actually we are subsidizing people who add ethanol into gasoline, that's one way we're keeping prices low!
        And isn't e85 subsidized at $1-$2 per gallon? that's pretty radical.

        Maybe algae/bacteria fuel will take off, but that's yet to come.

        Why would we want foreign ethanol if the idea of using ethanol is to stop importing petroleum anyway?

        And aldehyde emissions have been shown to be really harmful on a local level. You'd want to live quite far away from a highway or any major street if that were the case.
        The emissions 'benefit' is very questionable, according to a lot of research that's out there right now.

        The general consensus though is that it emits less CO but more NOx.

        As far as being biodegradable or evaporating, okay, there's a benefit there.
        But it does evaporate rapidly and that creates it's own problems.

        I'm not saying ethanol sucks, i'm just saying it's not a perfect solution like you think it is. The only problem it solves is our dependence on foreign oil. At a price that few are actually willing to pay.
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