With two German performance V8's currently in the MinimumTread garage, and one American 7.0 liter for good measure, the news hit us like a ton of bricks. It was German engines, and German performance cars that initiated our unquenchable automotive fanaticism decades ago.
For reasons having to do with the intersection of German and EU law, the Bundesrat legislation may or may not actually take effect as of 2030, but the trend is clear -- internal combustion engines will be Dodo bird status in the not-too-distant future.
Similarly fixed is the trend toward autonomous driving vehicles.
Considering these two trends, it's challenging to envision how performance vehicles, and performance driving fits in. The performance automotive niche is synonymous with excess, high energy consumption, and high emissions. HPDE/track day types see cars and their purpose as the world (increasingly) does not.
The solution, and path to continuation of the performance automotive hobby is clear: Performance must become efficient.
We were confident in the path forward from an engine standpoint when hybrid hypercars were unveiled by Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche. It seemed that hypercar hybrid technology would simply filter down to the more common performance coupes and sedans. BMW's next M3, for example, is almost certain to be a hybrid of a similar sort.
Now with the even hybrid engine technology legally uncertain, the hopes of the performance automotive world may rest on Formula E, and all of the associated efficient technologies…
As a title sponsor of the series, Michelin has been quietly advancing efficient performance tires that at once facilitate both race pace and high efficiency.
The Michelin Pilot Sport EV2 is their latest creation and is claimed to offer both additional pace and efficiency -- up to 16% less rolling resistance than its predecessor. It's also a much lighter tire.
Formula E probably isn't the most exciting race series going, but we've got our DVR set.
To read more about the Pilot Sport EV2, go here.
See also: Motorsport & Tire Development