Below are some of the rides favoured by today's celebrities. Whether or not such self-righteous behaviour is hypocritical or not is besides the point of this entry. Neither am I going into the debate of alternative energy. This is just a sampling of the cars that are deemed "fashionable" enough by today's idols of fashion and style.
Images are courtesy of paparazzinotebook.com.
Toyota Prius Hybrid
The first generation Prius was released in 1997 but it was only exported to US and Europe in 2000. Sales were lacklustre at first, but then Leonardo DiCaprio bought one from a Hollywood dealer, followed by Cameron Diaz. Soon, paparazzis were shooting photos of these two stars driving up and down Hollywood in this quirky little car. At the 2003 Academy Awards, 5 units of Prius were loaned to a Californian public relations agency to ferry among others, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. Soon, photos of Academy Awards stars stepping out of the Prius were printed in glossy gossip magazines all over the world. The rest they say is history.
What Happens in Vegas
There's Something About Mary
The Virgin Suicides
Never Been Kissed
Into the Blue
The Devil Wears Prada
A Perfect Fit
Mayor of London
Toyota Camry Hybrid
A little less quirky hybrid compared to the Prius
High School Musical
Paul is often seen travelling in his Lexus RX400h. Early this year, as a token of appreciation for his efforts to promote hybrid vehicle technology, TMC (Toyota Motor Corp.) gave a Lexus LS 600h hybrid as a gift to him. Only problem was, instead of putting the car on a ship, they loaded it onto a Korean Air flight and flew it from Japan to UK. In effect, the carbon emission generated from the airplane flight is equivalent to driving the LS600h around the world 6 times. A similar ship travel would generate 95 times less CO2 compared to the airplane. Paul was said to be horrified upon learning the delivery method, it was not known if Paul accepted the gift from TMC.
BMW Hydrogen 7
Debates of viability of hydrogen economy aside, the BMW Hydrogen 7 is the world's first production hydrogen powered vehicle. The V12 powered Hydrogen 7 has a cruising range of 200km on hydrogen and an additional 480km on petrol. The car is not available for sale, but is currently loaned for use by selected individuals in Germany and USA.
Meet Joe Black
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The Incredible Hulk
Kingdom of Heaven
The Italian Job
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
X-Men: The Last Stand
Die Another Day
Starsky & Hutch
Tonight's Show With Jay Leno
Shall We Dance
Sex and the City
The Passion of the Christ
The Matrix Reloaded
Tears of the Sun
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II
Prince of Monaco
Saab 9-5 BioPower
Debates on the link between rising food prices and bio-fuel aside, flex-fuel vehicles that can run on either bio-fuel (E85 ethanol-petrol blend) or conventional gasoline is the rage in Sweden. Other than Brazil, whose vehicles are all modified to run on sugar-cane derived bio-fuel, Sweden is the leader in adoption of bio-fuel. Swedish carmakers Volvo and Saab sell flexi-fuel models across the range in their domestic market.
Mercedes-Benz E280 Bluetec Clean Diesel
By injecting urea into the exhaust gases and employing an army of catalytic converters and particulate filters, Mercedes-Benz Bluetec diesel engines produce far less emission than a conventional diesel or even petrol engine vehicle. Mercedes-Benz calls the process Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which is a fancy way of saying mixing urine with exhaust gases. Really I am not kidding you. The car lugs around a tank of urine under its boot.
Tesla Roadster Electric Car
It's a two-seater electric powered sports car. Drawing power from its lithium-ion battery pack, the car shoots from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, that's Porsche 911 territory. It has a maximum speed of 201 km/h and a cruising range of 350km on a single charge. Charging time takes about 3.5 hours.
The Bourne Ultimatum
Hummer H2H hydrogen powered Hummer.
Mr. Terminator is pushing to build a "hydrogen-highway" in his state of California. Currently California has 23 hydrogen filling stations in operation and 15 is planned to be build by 2010.
Last Action Hero
Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid
Like the BMW Hydrogen 7, Honda's FCX Clarity is not for sale and is only loaned to selected high profile individuals. Due to the high investment required to support a nationwide sales and service network for such low volume vehicles, a full-scale sale is not viable and thus both the BMW and Honda are only available for use by selected celebrities and serviced by a selected number of service centers, of course located around Silvercity and the upper-class neighbourhoods.
I save the best for last.
The only true eco-friendly mode of transport.
US Presidential candidate hopeful
Related post Come 2009, let the hybrid car wars begin. Will we see more hybrids in Malaysia and Thailand?