Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
Base price: $1.3 million.
The 83rd annual International Motor Show opens in Geneva on Thursday, and to celebrate, the luxury manufacturers have released some stunning new models.
The car picture above is the Ferrari LaFerrari, the Italian carmaker's first hybrid car. The word hybrid might be used lightly here: the LaFerrari emits 330g/km of CO2, which is well above double the European average for new cars. But it's more environmentally friendly than a Range Rover or an Escalade, and the perks are significantly better.
The LaFerrari can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in fewer than three seconds, to 120 mph in fewer than seven seconds, and reach speeds of 230 mph. The V12 engine, together with a 120 KW electric motor, can produce a combined 963 CV of horsepower.
The design, Ferrari says, emphasizes the link between form and function:
The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque’s tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
That's not quite as exclusive as the McLaren P1, though, another hybrid sports car for the super-rich that will be introduced in Geneva. The company is only building 375 cars.
But the LaFerrari and the P1 are practically common compared with Lamborghini's Veneno. There will be only three of these bad boys created -- in white, red, and green, the colors of the Italian flag -- and each has already sold for $3.9 million. Sorry, Charlie! The Veneno goes from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds, and has a 12-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and 750 horsepower. It has no hybrid capabilities.