Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Great Recession Strikes Again – Ultra Luxury Car Makers Bentley and Ferrari Go for the Hybrid Technology

Pumping Up MPG on an $850,000 Car

Many people ask how can there be a recession when the luxury goods industry is doing so well.  The answer is simple, the luxury goods industry is the only industry doing so well.  See The Great Recession only affects ordinary people, the mega wealthy are not only exempt, but have arranged things so that they prosper.  It’s called the Republican School of Economics.

But this doesn’t mean that the rich have unlimited amounts of money to spend .  Well actually they do, but that fact just gets in the way of a good story.  So the makers of ultra luxury, ultra expensive autos have adopted the hybrid technology just to give the ultra wealthy better gas mileage.

But now Ferrari, the preferred drug for many deep-pocketed drivers with a need for speed, is turning to fuel-saving hybrid technology to create its most powerful and expensive model. Using technology developed for Formula One racing, the Italian automaker’s first hybrid, dubbed the F70, will combine two electric motors with a 12-cylinder gasoline engine to produce more horsepower than any previous Ferrari while cutting fuel consumption by 40 percent.

Okay, now all of us who were deferring purchase of the new Ferrari because of the poor gas mileage of a car with 10,000 horse power are now ready to buy.  Or maybe not.

The F70 won’t come at a Prius price: The vehicle will probably surpass the €660,000 ($850,000) cost of the automaker’s storied limited-edition Enzo, which the company considers it a successor to, says a person familiar with Ferrari’s plans who was not authorized to talk about them. “Dedicated Ferrari drivers look first at power and technology,” says Fabio Barone, president of the Passione Rossa owners’ club, who has two Ferraris. “The new Enzo will satisfy their appetite.”

Darn, $850,000, those monthly payments are just going to strain the hell out of The Dismal Political Economist’s budget.  We are going to do the math, maybe the gas savings from the hybrid will make purchase feasible after all. 

As for the billionaires who fight like hell to prevent tax increases so they can afford several of these cars, we now owe them a big apology.  We know where you are coming from, big billionaire guys, and we feel your pain when your tax dollars go for things like education, public safety and other wasteful practices instead of letting you keep your money and buy those hybrid Ferrari’s.  After all, if you have to buy the regular non-hybrid and pollute the environment then public policy is right to give you tax cuts so you can afford the high MPG version.

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