CARS

The fu­ture is here – and it’s a hy­brid

Emirates Man - - CONTENTS -

They’re good for the en­vi­ron­ment and good for your wal­let, but hy­brid cars have al­ways suf­fered from a bit of an im­age prob­lem. Toy­ota’s Prius, the most fa­mous elec­tro- petrol car ever made, has been easy fod­der for co­me­di­ans since it launched in 1997. It’s been reg­u­larly mocked in Seth McFar­lane’s Fam­ily Guy over the years ( Brian, the demo­crat- vot­ing, lib­eral- think­ing dog, drove one), while Will Fer­rell’s soppy de­tec­tive Allen Gam­ble was vili ed by his fel­low cops for driv­ing one in the 2010 com­edy The Other Guys ( one called it a “tam­pon on wheels”).

When pop urchin Justin Bieber was chased through the streets of Los An­ge­les back in

2013 by NFL player Keyshawn John­son, who was angry at him for speed­ing in the gated com­mu­nity the singer lives in, the big news wasn’t about two celebri­ties re- cre­at­ing their own Fast & Fu­ri­ous movie, it was that John­son had chased ( and stopped) Bieber’s Fer­rari in his Prius.

But the jokes haven’t si­lenced Toy­ota’s cash reg­is­ters. The mak­ers an­nounced in Oc­to­ber this year that they’ve sold more than seven mil­lion hy­brids. This Novem­ber, the company won its fth vic­tory in the 201 FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship us­ing hy­brid cars. The green business is a good business. More im­por­tantly, other car man­u­fac­tur­ers have taken note and want their own piece of the tree- hug­ging driv­ing mar­ket. But why should mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­asts in the UAE, where petrol is so cheap, care? Be­cause we all know how im­por­tant the brand of car you drive is here and thank­fully you can do your bit for the en­vi­ron­ment with style and class and with­out squeez­ing into a vanilla- look­ing Toy­ota or tiny SMART car: BMW, Mercedes, Lam­borgh­ini, Porsche and Audi are just a few of the high- end brands who want you to plug in and play.

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