10 Sporty Cars That Won’t Suck Away Your Gas Money – TheStreet.com

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – The sports car isn’t fuel efficient, because, until recently, it didn’t have to be.

A sports car is, at its core, a frivolity. It is vastly overpowered for all but the most desolate U.S. roads. Its lack of seating and lip-service cargo space prevent it from serving any true practical purpose. It’s a statement vehicle, and that statement tends to be that the driver can afford it — or at least has the ability to sign the lease agreement.

It definitely doesn’t say that the person owning it cares all that much about fuel efficiency standards that are inching toward the Environmental Protection Agency’s goal of a combined fleet fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that cars and light trucks purchased in 2014 got an average of 25.4 miles to the gallon, and sports cars typically have a tough time meeting even that modest mark. Of the 313 vehicles identified as sports cars by the EPA between the 2015 and 2016 model years, roughly 70 manage more than 25 miles per gallon combined.

It certainly doesn’t help that cars including the supercharged, 8-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro (14 miles per gallon), the Ferrari FF (13 mpg) and the Bugatti Veyron (10 mpg) are dragging down the numbers on the low end. But even relatively accessible offerings like the 4-cylinder Ford Mustang (26 mpg) and 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder Dodge Challenger (24.5 mpg) flirt with that bare-minimum mileage. They still fare better than the Nissan GT-R (19 mpg), Jaguar F Type S convertible (19 mpg) and Aston Martin DB9 (15 mpg) that all struggle to hit the 19 miles per gallon that was the Department of Transportation standard in 1999.

This may all sound like welcome news to collectors who equate fuel consumption with “muscle” and multiple trips to the gas station with the price of beauty. However, even automakers are starting to realize that fuel-guzzling sports cars that are basically the enlarged prostate of the automotive industry are not only increasingly unattractive, but worth addressing.

Through July, Porsche’s sales in the U.S. were up 9.7% over 2014. However, take its SUVs (and their 30% uptick) out of the mix, and Porsche’s U.S. car sales are actually down 9.8% in 2015. It’s a similar case for Audi, whose SUV sales are up 34.1%, but whose car sales are relatively flat with 1.6% growth. Jaguar, Maserati and Bentley have all seen sales declines this year, while Land Rover and Mini watch sales soar by roughly 20% apiece.

The sports car isn’t dying: it’s just evolving. Buyers are expecting better fuel economy and, failing that, more utility out of their high-horsepower splurges. With help from the EPA’s FuelEconomy.gov site, we compiled a list of the most fuel-efficient sports cars on the market. While the EPA didn’t include Tesla’s Model S and its P85D performance model in its list, we’re doing so simply, because excluding a vehicle with 762 horsepower and 253 miles of electric range borders on madness:


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