How green is Mercedes' solid gold biofuel car?
- Published: 16 March 2010
- Hits: 19233
Another over-the-top luxury car from Mercedes, but this time made from white gold. So what if it can run on biofuel? Maurice Picow isn't convinced of its environmental merits.
Are the United Arab Emirate states being over-the-top extravagant when purchasing super luxury cars? Word has it that an Abu Dhabi billionaire is the proud owner of a Mercedes V10 Quad Turbo sports job that has a body made of white gold! Not gold paint, but gold alloy sheet metal. Do these kinds of luxuries find any parallel with the similarly over-the-top “eco” projects happening in the region, like The World islands and Masdar City?
The specially made car features a newly developed V10 quad turbo with 1,600 horsepower and 2800nm of torque. It is said to be able to go from 0-100km/h in less than 2 seconds, and can go a 1/4 mile in 6.89 seconds running on biofuel. But seriously folks, is it even relevant to talk about biofuel in the face of such an item?
Cost of this “jewelry store on wheels” is reported to be $2.5 million – or enough money to feed the poorer populations of many Arab countries for months.
Oil rich Emirates in the UAE have been known to spend large sums of money on all kinds of extravagant projects including what has been billed as the largest and most expensive indoor ski complex in the world, Ski Dubai; the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa Tower (all 158 stories of it) Abu Dhabi’s now being constructed luxurious Al Reem Island (said to be a playground for the wealthy); and what may be the only truly environmental sustainable project, Masdar City, which is also in the early stages of construction.
Luxury at the expense of poorer Arabs
All of these, including the car of course, are at the expense of millions of people throughout the Muslim world who go to bed hungry every night; and many of these people (from countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and even Jordan) work in the UAE on these projects for incomes ranging from as little as $4 a day.
It appears that only the wealthy can afford to purchase properties in these places, or spend the night in hotels that can run as much as $25,000 a night for a luxurious suite in Dubai’s Burg Al Arab ultra luxurious hotel tower. It makes us wonder what good could be done if just some of the money spent on these projects had been used for the good of the regional environment.
And while the much touted Masdar City is being marketed as “an example for other countries”; other projects, especially Dubai’s island community extravaganza The World, may turn out to be the region’s economic and environmental downfall, due to severe problems from both aspects.
Getting back to the “solid gold Mercedes” it does have one redeeming quality; its 1,600 HP engine is designed to run on biofuels. But throwing in words and ideas like LEED-certified building and biofuel does not make a construction project or car environmental friendly. It’s just using the good deeds of the environment movement to get some good PR.
Want to convert your Mercedes to biofuel? No problem. Follow this handy resource “converting diesel mercedes to biofuel” and save yourself $2.5 million dollars.
Update: The car might be a ‘fake’ gold number, according to Snopes. But for $2.5 million, it’s still an excess.
Maurice Picow is a North American writer now based in the Middle East. For the past several years, he has been a freelance article and content writer, and writes for a number of web blogs including Green Prophet, as well for local newspapers. His writing interests cover a number of topics, including business and financial, environmental, clean technology and ecology, health and fitness, and current human interest topics. Maurice also completed a non-fiction work dealing with the Middle East and a two volume fiction adventure story, which he is now submitting for publishing. Another novel, based on a forbidden love affair between an Israeli and a Palestinian, will soon be ready for publication