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October 09, 2007

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Johnny Fever

Two years ago, when reviewing Porsche's 911, Top Gear reported that the exhaust emissions from the 911 were cleaner than than the air that it took in. Jeremy Clarkson called it a Turbo Dyson. Pretty Impressive.

davey-boy

I recently parted company with a 1981 Land Rover Series III with gazillions on the clock (well, the speedo had long since given up the ghost). It was built from Meccano pieces, as far as I could tell, and I have no doubt it will still be here for another 26 years unless the emissions laws are tightened too draconionly (is there such a word?).
The point is that, not for the Brits to outdo the Gerrmans, but I read in a special interest magazine (Land Rover World, I think) that over 90% of all Series I, II, III and Defenders are still on the road. That is some stat, and the depreciation when amortised over 25 years is, like its top speed, snail-like. However the insides of the newer ones are not dissimilar to the insides of the old ones, and apart from the Morgan, I think Land Rover is the marque that has most closely avoided the opportunity of progress and most fervently clung on to the past (hey, if you want comfort, features, safety stuff etc, buy a Defender or Ranger). The result is that the miles-per-gallon figures are horrendous and the exhaust emissions akin to the output of a Rothmans factory. Very little "eco" in that warrior.
To me, the fact that there are still so many Porsches and Land Rovers on the road isn't much of an argument for environmental friednliness.
Have a nice day.

David Tebbutt

Thanks Eric. Eric runs a Porsche news blog. http://www.pcarblog.com/

Eric

Interesting, I just came across the same post yesterday. I also happen to be a Porsche owner and enthusiast, and think Porsches are pretty environmentally friendly, but for some additional reasons too. (And by Porsches, I'm not counting the Cayenne SUV -- it is, after all, still a big, wasteful SUV.)

I happen to own a Boxster. It is a very small car. To me, it is more environmentally friendly than the cars my friends drive because:

* It is small, therefore it takes less raw materials to build it, thus it is less wasteful. Probably takes less energy to build too. In fact, some things, like the interiors of some Porsches, are built by hand, so even less energy is used running expensive machinery for some tasks.

* It gets better fuel mileage than most of my friends' cars. It is, of course, a high performance car, but it still gets good fuel mileage. I get about 30 mpg on the highway.

* They meet the ULEV II emissions standard, which is pretty good for a sports car

* They all use fully synthetic oil and the maintenance periods are long -- 15,000 miles for an oil change, for example

* 85% of a Porsche Boxster is recyclable at the end of its life and all synthetic components are labeled as such

* Boxsters are entirely free of CFCs and any components manufactured using CFCs

* The paint is water-based

And, add to that the fact you pointed out above over 60% of all Porsches are still on the road, and it makes them look very eco-friendly compared to all the SUVs, mini-vans, pickup trucks and big 4-door sedans that I see lining the driveways in my neighborhood.

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