Hypercars — What Are They?

by CarInsurance.com Staff Writer on February 21, 2012

Across the political spectrum, most people agree that one of the best ways to lower the country’s dependence on foreign oil and improve air quality is to produce cars that are far more fuel efficient than the vehicles of today. This consensus is not new. Since the dawn of the automotive industry over one hundred years ago, automobile manufacturers, spurred on by congressional action, have sought to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets of cars and trucks. Unfortunately, while progress has been made, it has become increasingly harder to make substantial improvements in efficiency without sacrificing vehicle durability and safety.

A new direction must be followed if the twin goals of fuel efficiency and vehicle safety are to be met. This is where hypercars come in. First designed in the mid-1990s, hypercars offer promising design principles for vastly increasing fuel efficiency without sacrificing vehicle safety, durability, or performance.

What Iis a Hypercar?

The Hypercar® was first proposed by Amory B. Lovins, the chairman and cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank devoted to improving energy efficiency in industry and home use. Concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment, Lovins proposed the Hypercar® in order to help the automotive industry develop automobiles that would use less gasoline but would also be popular with the general public. Essentially, the Hypercar® trademarked by the Rocky Mountain Institute is a vehicle that achieves superior efficiency through the use of aerodynamic design, the incorporation of composite materials, and the application of other principles. Today, many cars that use these principles are known simply as hypercars.

In the past, achieving fuel efficiency often came at the expense of vehicle appearance, safety, and performance, but the principles illustrated in hypercar design aim to overcome these problems. One of the best ways to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is to lower its weight, but simply using a lighter metal to construct a vehicle body often renders the vehicle more apt to crumble in the event of a car crash. Composite material construction, however, maintains safety and reduces the weight of the final vehicle because composite materials do not sacrifice strength for the sake of reduced weight. Improved aerodynamic design also improves efficiency while maintaining the sleek look that many people want in their cars and trucks. By incorporating both aerodynamic design and composite material construction, hypercars improve fuel efficiency in a way that also allows automakers to build vehicles that people actually want to buy.

In any case, hypercar advocates claim that hypercar design principles can create a three-to-fivefold improvement in overall fuel efficiency. Such claims must be taken seriously, and an increasing number of car manufacturers are applying hypercar principles in the construction of fuel efficient vehicles.

Are There Hypercars on the Road Today?

Work began on hypercars in earnest during the 1990s, but it is only in recent years that such vehicles have become more widely available to the general public. In one sense, any modern hybrid vehicle can be considered a hypercar, and there are several models that are available to the buying public.

  • The Toyota Prius is certainly one of the most well-known hypercars on the market today. The Prius has been available internationally since 2001, and it remains one of the most popular hypercar sedans on the market today.
  • Those who want a car that has more room than a sedan have many different hybrid SUVs and vans to choose from. The Ford Escape Hybrid was the first hybrid SUV ever produced, proving that hypercar design principles could be effectively incorporated into larger vehicles.
  • Truck enthusiasts have long had to put up with pickup trucks that offer the performance they want but that are also very inefficient. The application of hypercar design principles to pickup trucks has drastically improved the fuel efficiency of these utility vehicles in recent years. The current Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, for example, gets just over twenty miles per gallon, which is a vast improvement over non-fuel efficient truck models.
  • These three popular hybrids by no means exhaust the variety and number of hypercars available today. Automakers continue to introduce new models, demonstrating that hypercars are here to stay.
  • Special Hypercar Financial Concerns:

  • Cost to Purchase

Modern hybrids and other cars that incorporate hypercar design principles tend to be more costly than normal vehicles. Although costs are coming down, these high costs tend to be what keep many people from purchasing them.

Fortunately, however, the U.S. government has put several incentives in place in order to make these fuel efficient vehicles more affordable. Most of these incentives come in the form of tax credits provided to those who buy cars that are constructed with hypercar design principles. These tax credits are available to both individuals and corporations who buy said vehicles. Buyers looking to take advantage of these tax credits should make sure that the vehicle they want to purchase qualifies for a credit before they buy it.

    • Insurance and Upkeep

Buyers of hypercars also have higher maintenance and insurance costs than those who buy normal vehicles. These costs are due mainly to the high cost of the vehicles and the special materials and skills needed to repair them. Contrary to popular belief, the higher insurance costs have nothing to do with hypercars being somehow less safe than normal vehicles. The higher costs are largely to the smaller size of these cars and the general driving tendencies of those who drive smaller vehicles.

Are Hypercars the Future?

The Rocky Mountain Institute has several papers that show how its Hypercar® and general hypercar design principles are the wave of the future. These fuel efficient vehicles are here to stay, and it is clear that they will continue to transform the modern auto industry


Car Insurance – Saving Money without Sacrificing Coverage

by CarInsurance.com Staff Writer on March 8, 2011

There are so many different things to think about when it comes to choosing the best car insurance for your specific needs. You have to compare coverage, prices, and all of the different companies that can offer you the insurance that you need. This can often become confusing or even just a hassle to some people, which is why we offer the services that we do here at CarInsurance.Net. While we are NOT an insurance company, we are able to provide you with the resources that you need to get the best deals on auto insurance without having to spend a fortune or sacrifice the coverage that you get.

Here are four ways to save money on auto insurance:

  1. Shop around. When you fill out our comparison quote form, you’ll be able to get multiple insurance quotes at once, saving you time and money by allowing you to compare different policies.
  2. Drive carefully. Many people don’t realize that their tiny little speeding ticket actually makes their insurance go up, but any minor blemish on the driving record is a red flag for insurance companies. Try to be a safe driver for your own well-being but also for insurance savings.
  3. Choose a safe car. If you truly want to save money on your auto insurance rates, you’re going to need a safe car. That means that you’ll have to choose something with 4 doors that isn’t sporty and something with safety features if possible. The safer your car is, the lower your insurance rates will be.
  4. Combine policies. If you have home or renter’s insurance or even multiple auto insurance policies, you need to combine them when you can. Putting all of your vehicles on the same policy will warrant a discount, as will getting your home/renters insurance from the same company that you get auto insurance from. Every penny counts, right?

These are four great ways to cut costs and get the cheap car insurance that you need. Of course, there are other ways to save money as well, if you get creative. Just make sure that you know how much insurance you need and get enough coverage to protect yourself and your family at any cost.

Whether you’re shopping for cheap car insurance or just looking for information, thanks for stopping by CarInsurance.Net . Fill out our free quote form today and get quotes back from multiple insurance providers in no time at all.


Auto Insurance Quotes- 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Insurance

January 15, 2011

Auto insurance quotes are the most commonly searched topic when it comes to most insurance. However, there are still many people who are confused about getting the right insurance and what they need to look for in an insurance company. If you’re having trouble choosing the best auto insurance, here are five tips that can […]

Read the full article →

Car Insurance Tips- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

December 20, 2010

There are many different types of coverage that you’ll find on any auto insurance policy. Two of the most crucial types of coverage that many people don’t even have are comprehensive and collision coverage. These types of coverage are only required with full coverage policies according to most state laws, but they can be an […]

Read the full article →

Car Insurance – The Different Types of Auto Insurance

October 26, 2010

Depending on what state you drive in, there will be different mandatory requirements for the specific car insurance policy that you will need to purchase. Within those parameters, however, there will be some room for you to choose your own coverage. That is why it’s essential to learn a little bit more about the various […]

Read the full article →

Car Insurance – Tips for Choosing the Amount of Coverage

September 10, 2010

The level of coverage that you may seek out in your car insurance policy will depend on a variety of factors. The first factor is that there a certain level of coverage that is mandatory for all drivers, dependent on the state’s requirements that you are living in. To begin the process of choosing the […]

Read the full article →

Car Insurance – Comparing Car insurance

September 8, 2010

There are so many different elements that come with searching for the best insurance policy. It doesn’t matter what type of insurance you need or how much you have to spend on auto insurance, because you should really have no trouble at all getting the best deal if you comparison shop with multiple insurance providers. […]

Read the full article →

Car Insurance Quotes – Protect Your Investment Well

April 12, 2010

Getting the right car insurance is a critical step in enjoying your new vehicle to the fullest extent possible. While you might think that it’s ‘just insurance’ or that you will ‘be fine because I’ve never had an accident’, almost every state in the U.S. requires it. More importantly, your lender (if you take out […]

Read the full article →