For decades, the last thing the motor sport industry has been concerned with is environmental friendliness.
The average owner of a high-performance vehicle has fit a certain demographic which has, by and large, stayed the same since the concept of driving cars very fast was invented.
Taking their lead from the world-famous racers and wonderfully rich movie stars, you’ll be hard pressed to find a man in his forties who doesn’t have his eye on a sports car.
Whether its a matter of them going through a mid-life crisis, or simply a case of them reaching for a goal that they have harboured for most of their adult life; statistics shows that men are more likely to purchase their first sports car when they hit the age of 52.
But this image of an older man zooming down a motorway at 90 mph doesn’t exactly chime with the demographic of an environmentalist. So why is it that one of the leading sports car manufacturers in the world, Porsche, has just piled millions of pounds into a brand new hybrid car?
Before we make any more sweeping statements about middle-aged men and sports cars (further alienating our own audience in the process!) lets take a closer look at Porsche and see if this is something that falls in line with their usual MO.
The first Porsche car was produced in 1931, the Mk 60K10 had a top speed of 99 mph, its engine producing 50 bhp. Only three models of the car were ever produced, with two of them being destroyed in the process of World War II. During this time Porsche, designed the world-famous Beetle, in addition to the Kubelwagen (the militarised version of their iconic economy car).
Once the motor sport scene started to truly get going, after World War II, Porsche were more than ready to compete with a string of highly competitive vehicles that would go on to win multiple titles.
With such an historic reputation to uphold in terms of performance and competitions, why are they now entering into the world of hybrid vehicles?
In 2014, over 80 years after the company’s inception, the Stuttgart-based company released its first ever sustainability report.
Within this booklet the company detailed its goals in regards to how they were aiming to reduce their emissions and even reduce the amount of raw materials that were using to manufacture their parts for Porsche cars.
So it came as no surprise when, in 2016, they released the third incarnation of this report, along with the announcement that every new model of Porsche car would reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 10%, compared to the previous model.
With this year’s of their 918 Spyder, a high-powered performance vehicle that runs on both electricity and petrol, Porsche have put a firm foot into the waters of environmentally friendly driving. The question is will their efforts be rewarded by sales?
Will the middle aged men of today be interested in a car that was designed to save the planet rather than tear up the tarmac?