The divide between supercar performance and green-car fuel economy is still pretty wide, but it looks like it’s inching closer: McLaren has announced that its MP4-12C supercar will not be subject to a gas guzzler tax when it goes on sale in the United States.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the MP4-12C will get 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway, which means a combined figure of 18 mpg when running on premium fuel. Additionally, the EPA claims that the MP4 will emit 10.4 tons of carbon dioxide per year, assuming its driver will rack up 15,000 miles over 12 months.
Considering that the MP4-12C has a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 engine that spits out 592 horsepower, the 18 mpg combined figure isn’t horrible. A 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee fitted with a 3.6-liter V-6 and four-wheel drive gets 19 mpg on the same combined cycle, after all.
The MP4-12C’s figures look even better when stacked against a few of its supercar rivals. The MP4 beats out the Ferrari 458 Italia (12 mpg city/12 mpg highway/14 mpg combined), the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 (13 mpg city/20 mpg highway/16 mpg combined), and the Audi R8 V10 (13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/15 mpg combined), and is also the only one of the four that skirts the gas guzzler tax. The EPA goes so far as to say that over 15,000 miles of mixed driving, an MP4 driver will save nearly $900 in gas compared to a Ferrari 458 -- although we would hazard that $900 is pocket change for a driver who spent around $229,000 for a car.
The only tarnish in that crown, however, comes from Porsche, whose limited edition 2011 911 GT2 RS clocks in at 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined, thanks to its twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter six-cylinder flat-six engine. Good luck finding one, however: Porsche only built 500 examples of the car, and it’s not returning for the 2012 model year.
Source: McLaren, EPA