A Sports Car EV Is Like Trying to Mix Oil and Water. Discuss

There’s a Ferrari that drives down my road every night at about six in the evening. There is both a high-pitched howl and a deeper base note to the exhaust noise as it changes gear adjacent to my house. Every evening, the same gear change at the same spot. I use the word ‘noise’ a little reluctantly because the visceral pleasure I get from this daily occurrence translates the incandescent bellow into the sweetest music.

To those in the know, the uniqueness of this car’s exhaust noise is a result of the various design elements which inhale, ignite and expel gases. To those not in the know, this sound is representative of the testosterone-laden, rich rebel who is also an afficionado with the heart of an Italian romantic (to me that just means an unshaven bloke whose national sport is leering at women).  

One evening, as this blood-red bullet roared past my home, I happened to be admiring my accountant’s Tesla. He’d brought it round to my place, presumably, to demonstrate how much he was overcharging me. After my initial urge to fire him on the spot, I conceded that his sedan was beautiful. And once the motor was started, its silence was breathtaking.

I didn’t even think about it at the time, but the next day I could think of nothing else. Loving the Ferrari for its sound. Loving the Tesla for its silence.

This isn’t a contradiction, each is a value on opposite sides of a balancing scale.

But would I want a Ferrari to be whisper-quiet when its V12 engine is red-lining at 9,000 rpm? No, in the same way I wouldn’t want a Tesla to sound like an A380 with all four engines at full thrust.

Yet this incredible looking automobile you see above is quiet. Dead quiet. It’s the BYD EV U9 and to call it a masterpiece would be a supreme understatement.

But because it’s a sports car EV, it’s not for me. There are just too many contradictions, of which relative sound emissions are just the tip of the iceberg. For the owner, a legacy sports car is a series of self-centred projections that begs or demands attention from one’s peers and the opposite sex. All of which are neatly packaged in the fact that the sports car is exhilarating to drive.

For the owner of an EV, the car is also a series of projections. But they are on the intelligence side of the spectrum, not the primordial-need-a-mate side.

There’s an indulgence to purchasing both, at least at the moment.

But the indulgence of an EV carries with it a sensibility for the health of the planet.

The indulgence of a legacy supercar is pretty much a devil-may-care attitude to everything except the member of the opposite sex who’ll soon be sitting pretty in the passenger seat.

And never the twain shall meet. Well, at least in my mind, anyway.  Call me a late adopter. And certainly, when sales go through the roof of EV sports cars in general , call me wrong.

But there is a disconnect. Hardly an important disconnect in a world rather full of them at the moment.

Let’s just call it a social observation.

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