The days of gas-guzzling supercars like the Lamborghini Murcielago may be coming to a close. As miles per gallon climb higher across the board and emissions drop, exotic car manufacturers are following suit -- even the very small companies. For example, take what promises to be the fastest plug-in hybrid car on the planet: the Veritas RS III Hybrid.
It'll have a gasoline-powered engine and an electric motor that work together to produce more than 600 horsepower total. The Veritas RS III Hybrid can be plugged in to charge the battery, and it'll be able to cruise around town on electric power only. It'll also have much lower emissions than most supercars -- and most of the more widely available cars on the road today, too.
Vermot AG, a German small-batch auto manufacturer, resurrected the Veritas nameplate when it introduced the Veritas RS III Roadster, with a gasoline engine only, in 2008. After World War II, when German manufacturing was in a shambles, Veritas built race cars out of BMW parts. Fittingly, the engine in the Veritas RS III comes from BMW, too.
Vermot hand-builds the Veritas cars in a facility at the famed Nurburgring race track. The production run of the RS III Roadster was limited by Vermot to only 30 cars; the hybrid will be even more rare. The hybrid shown at the Geneva 2010 Motor Show was a prototype, and only three fully functional examples will be built for sale. The company is using its hybrid model as a step toward the future, to show that it's capable of engineering advanced automotive technologies.
But advanced technology and hand-built craftsmanship don't come cheap, of course. The Veritas RS III Hybrid will cost around 465,000 euros -- that's about $650,000 in the United States, at the current exchange rate.
Up next, a closer look at some of that bleeding-edge technology.