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Performance Meets Efficiency: Two Types Of Vehicles That Prove You Can Satisfy Your Need For Speed Without Sacrificing Fuel Econ

Many driving enthusiasts couldn't care less about fuel economy — all they care about in a vehicle is whether or not it satisfies their need for speed. However, there's a certain beauty in a vehicle that can accelerate at breakneck speeds while still being extremely fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. Here are some of the most extreme vehicles on the market that are capable of just that.

Hybrid Supercars

Hybrid technology isn't just for economy cars anymore. In recent years, high-end supercar manufacturers have been releasing hybrid cars that put their previous gasoline flagship models to shame, both in performance and efficiency.

First up is the Porsche 918 Spyder. Its heart is a 4.6-liter flat-crank V8 that churns out 608 horsepower while screaming all the way up to a 9150 rpm redline. That's more than enough power for traditional supercars, but Porsche didn't stop there: they also added two electric motors to the mix. There's one 156-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear axle, and another 129-horsepower that drives the front axle. With all three motors working in conjunction, the 918 produces 887 horsepower at 8700 rpm. Perhaps even more impressive is that it manages to do so while still getting 24 mpg on the highway, and it can drive up to 18 miles purely on electric power without using a sip of gasoline.

Then there's the McLaren P1. It's powered by a menacing twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 that puts down 727 horsepower. Backing up the V8 is an electric motor that produces 177 horsepower. With both engines working together, the P1 churns out 903 horsepower and can sprint all the way up to a 217 mph top speed. If you go easy on the throttle though, the P1 is capable of 21 mpg on the highway. That may not seem too impressive compared to hybrid economy cars, but it's unprecedented for a supercar that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

Finally, there's the Ferrari LaFerrari. Its fuel economy isn't quite as impressive as the other two at 16 mpg on the highway. Then again, the LaFerrari uses a much bigger gasoline engine — a 6.3-liter V12 to be exact. That big V12 produces 789 horsepower, and it's supplemented by a 161-horsepower electric motor. That makes the LaFerrari the most powerful of the bunch, peaking at 949 horsepower at an ear-ringing 9000 rpm. 

Sadly, most people don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around to purchase a hybrid supercar. That's where motorcycles come in: they offer speed that rivals the fastest supercars out there while also offering fuel efficiency that rivals the greenest of economy cars.

Motorcycles: Efficient Speed for the Everyman

If you dream of harnessing the speed of an exotic supercar but you aren't a millionaire, a motorcycle may be the ride for you. On paper, motorcycles pale in comparison to all the cutting-edge engineering that goes into the hybrid supercars above. Many of the fastest sport bikes available, known as literbikes, have measly 1-liter engines that produce under 200 horsepower. However, motorcycles are also thousands of pounds lighter than your average car, and a lot of those tiny engines rev to well over 13000 rpm. A lightweight bike with an engine that revs to the moon can out-accelerate almost every supercar on the market, all while still getting better gas mileage than most economy cars. The best part is there are a multitude of motorcycle models that are just as cheap as an economy car, so they're the attainable way to satisfy your extreme need for speed and efficiency.

Take the Honda CBR1000RR for example. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.6 seconds while offering an incredible fuel efficiency of 41 mpg. The Ducati 899 Panigale offers similar numbers: it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds while still being capable of 38 mpg. As a final example, take the Kawasaki ZX-14R. It's capable of sprinting to 60 mph in only 2.6 seconds, and it can also achieve 42 mpg. If a literbike is too big for you, there are dozens of smaller models that are also capable of supercar-like acceleration. 

As fast as motorcycles can be, performance numbers don't tell half the story. Weaving down a twisty road on two wheels with the wind in your face is an experience that even the most expensive exotic cars can't match. If you're a speed enthusiast on a budget who lusts after the performance of high-end sports cars but you also respect fuel efficiency, a motorcycle may be the perfect vehicle for you. There are a multitude of models that can out-accelerate the fastest supercars on the market while still offering better gas mileage than most compact economy cars. The best part is that the price of admission into the world of motorcycles is orders of magnitude less than that of high-tech supercars. Head on over to a bike shop like Carl's Cycle Sales to see if they sell one of these models.