The world economy is crumbling, we're all going broke, and oil's soon to cost more per gram than uncut cocaine. Perhaps we should just buy a round of bicycles and lament the good, old days when we recklessly ruled the land Mad Max-style in callous, vicious killing machines like the Toyota Yaris. If you believe such talk from the Greenies, the fast car has a dimmer future than Betamax. Unfortunately for those endeavoring to de-employ me and thousands of others who pound the tarmac for pocket change, that message isn't getting through to the people building cars. Despite the newsworthiness of carmakers' obsequious courting of the environmental lobby, this year's Geneva motor show was a goldmine of brazen, consumptive heavy metal.
Some simply refused to acknowledge environmental concerns, although you could argue that by trimming weight from the Gallardo, Lamborghini's Superleggera is actually the company's greenest car to date, but it would be a wafer-thin proposal few would swallow.
Then there was the 5.5-liter Tramontana, a careful blend of two-seater road car and rocket ship that will probably burn its own personal hole in the ozone layer with a 720 hp variant, and the ludicrously extravagant Spyker C12 Zagato. And quite how you'd justify a Brabus-tuned Mercedes ML63 is just about anyone's guess, but the sheer volume of monsters on show suggests that we might not have to for a while.
See, if enough people switch to electric cars, wind-powered karts powered by sails and their own sense of smugness, there will be enough left over for the selfish few that want to power 'round tracks with pure fossil fuel under our right foot. But even that will come to an end one day, no matter how sparingly we use it there just won't be enough fossils left at some point, even Ford and GM won't sustain us for long.
But don't worry. Before that point we'll have something new to entertain us. And I now have serious doubts it will be electric, I'm loving Bioethanol and Sweden in particular for the Koenigsegg CCR. In fact I love it more than the Pixie-like Latina Shakira, who shook up the show on the SEAT stand. And I love her so much that the restraining order is surely in the mail ...
Koenigsegg has always produced the wildest machines on the road, sledgehammer supercars with all the finesses of a rhino on ice skates. They were neither politically nor dynamically correct, but they were blistering fast in a straight line and the kind of car you'd sell your kids for a day with.
When they weren't slamming the Porsche Cayenne, which incidentally can run on 25 percent Bioethanol with no modifications whatsoever and possibly emits less noxious gas when doing so than the beaten up AMC Pacer these plastic-sandal wearing Rentamobs use to drive to their latest protest rally. Still, the lentil munchers opined that the likes of Koenigsegg were destroying the pine forests surrounding the factory, though.
Personally, I'm not sure it's all down to environmental concerns and is an argument driven by envy, angst and anger at the world. Now we're about to find out.
Because a small supercar company has taken the high-octane Bioethanol machine and smashed 1000 hp with a 4.7-liter V8. Remember the trials and tribulations Bugatti went through to achieve this with a budget big enough to buy Koenigsegg many times over, and switching fuel helped the Swedes extract 25 percent more power with such minimal effort that the kit can retro fitted to a petrol powered car. I genuinely hope that car beats the Veyron for outright pace, because with the environment nixed as a possible stick to beat them with, the campaigners might just have to leave the supercar, SUV and others alone.
I believe we saw a window into the future in Geneva and Bioethanol will be the rage in the coming years with supercar manufacturers at least. For them it won't be about saving the Earth, it will be about going faster. Killing the argument against the fast car will be an added bonus, a big one, but Bioethanol has become a technical advance. That is, the high octane content of Bioethanol allows for a higher compression ratio and thus a wider range of performance capabilities.
That alone will ensure its success, this is going green without compromise. And as I'm blasting along in a 200 mph Koenigsegg I suspect there will be a sector of society that will still hate me for it, but the vital stick to beat me with will be gone from their hand.
Roll on the future, it's going to be great...
Car Hack's Notebook: The Dakar [internal]