Three new models, by three of the world’s leading super sports car manufacturers, are sexy and slippery, but they’re not classically sustainable. Not by a long shot.

With so much buyer interest in electrified vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric models, is the latest round of supercar debuts a slam dunk? Or is it just another in a string of vehicles that prove that most buyers aren’t ready for the future that is knocking on their door?

“The supercar’s raison d’être has always been about one thing: outrageousness. It’s the shock of the new that inspired the Piedmontese exclamation ‘Countach!,’ which eventually named the famous scissor-doored Lamborghini; it’s the boggling aerospace engineering of the McLaren F1; the wild side strakes of the Ferrari Testarossa; the impossible curves of the Lamborghini Miura. Without the sense of wonder that draws from these exceptional vehicles, a car is just a car,” luxury consultant, automotive journalist, and author of Speed Read: Supercar Basem Wasef told Newsweek.

“More often than not, supercar owners trace their passion to one thing: the poster cars that hung on their walls when they were kids. Childhood fascinations remain powerful, even in adulthood. The ultimate wish fulfillment comes when we’re able to satisfy those ancient cravings by purchasing our dream cars, or the modern equivalents of those vehicles.”

McLarens have been pictured in those posters for generations, from Formula One race cars to street cars.

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The McLaren 750S is the company’s new, rear-wheel drive sports car, a next step for the company’s Super Series, which stretches back over a decade and a half to the 540C. It features classic McLaren looks using the 720S as a benchmark. Approximately 30 percent of its parts are changed from the 720S making it 66 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

The sports car’s body and seats are constructed of carbon fiber, which is notoriously hard to recycle, and it’s propelled ahead by a 730-horsepower (hp), twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that can move the car from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 2.7 seconds.

The same engine, in the heavier 720S was rated at 18 miles per gallon (mpg) combined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Numbers for this model are not yet available, but the car is expected to be nearly twice as efficient than the Ram 1500 TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor R.

Buyers can get the car as a hardtop or spider. The 750S starts at $324,000 for the Coupe and $345,000 for the Spider. It’s sold out deep into 2024 according to McLaren.

For buyers looking for a slightly more tailpipe environmental friendliness, McLaren sells the Artura, its high-performance hybrid hypercar. That model is nearly as hard to come by as the 750S. McLaren says it’s sold out through late 2023.

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Lamborghini’s just-revealed Revuelto is a descendent of the Aventador, a classic poster child. It is clearly a Lamborghini though it features a unique light signature and a pursed backside. Revuelto’s body angles are reminiscent of the Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica.

Instead of horsepower and torque coming courtesy of only a gasoline-powered engine, the Revuelto gets its power from a 6.5-liter V12 engine paired with three electric motors. It’s a combination that makes 1001 horsepower. Revuelto is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid model.

With its combination of plug-in power, the Revuelto is likely to be more efficient than the Aventador it replaces, with the bonus of having more power. This is the Toyota “Prime” approach, with electric motors giving the car an edge rather than make up for a less proficient engine.

A Lamborghini BEV isn’t on the horizon for many years, but the company has taken many steps to become carbon neutral despite their powertrain emissions outputs, earning Newsweek‘s World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Sustainability Disruptor of the Year trophy this year.

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Aston Martin’s new DB12 is unapologetically brash, boisterous, and elegant. The so-called “super tourer” gets its 671 brake-horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. No electric motor input here.

The car can move from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 202 mph. Its 590 pound-feet of torque is a 34 percent increase over what its DB11 predecessor is capble of achieving.

Its uniquely compounded Michelin Pilot Sport 5s tires are wrapped around 21-inch wheels, grounding the car’s haunch-heavy body. The deliberate stance and muscular body design, Aston says, is a nod to the future of the company.

While pages of the press release announcing the car’s debut feature power and performance information, nowhere does sustainability garner a mention. Electrification is on the horizon for the company, not in the here and now.

Aston Martin has promised that their first all-electric vehicle will debut in 2025, and that the company’s fleet with be fully electrified by 2030.

True sustainability talk has only recently gotten a foothold in the road-going supercar space.

“Sustainability became a socially acceptable ingredient in the supercar formula when the so-called holy trinity of supercars—the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder— debuted with hybrid powertrains in 2013,” Wasef said.

But that doesn’t mean that more efficient options are what buyers want, Paul Waattii, manager of industry insights at AutoPacific warns.

“Efficiency and self-driving features have little appeal to a supercar buyer. These buyers prize sexy styling, raw power, and finessed driving dynamics over all else. They want to drive the car, not be driven by it. And while pure electric powertrains have already proven to offer insane performance levels, supercar buyers still overwhelmingly prefer unadulterated gas-powered engines,” Waatti said.

“That’s not to say we won’t see more electric powertrains or autonomous drive features on supercars in the near term, but certainly not to the degree or at the rate of adoption as more mainstream offerings.”

For buyers looking for all-electric power, there’s a few supercar options: Rimac Nevera, Pininfarina Battista, and Lotus Evija. All boast over 1,900 horsepower, available at the push of the throttle, but have price tags in the millions of dollars range.


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