Latest of the new generation of stop-start supercars unveiled in Paris

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Ferrari has unveiled a greener version of its California supercar at the Paris Auto Show.

The Italian automaker says that its new HELE (High Emotion Low Emission) system, which has been fitted onto the Ferrari California, is capable of reducing emissions by 23 percent in an urban driving cycle.

Over a combined (urban and highway) cycle, emissions stand at 270 g/km, which the automaker claims is best in class.

Much of the savings come from the addition of a "Stop&Start" system, which reviewers have described as a weird feeling - in a V8 Ferrari "the engine is a huge part of the experience, even at idle," said British motoring magazine Auto Express.

However, given that the engine restarts in just 230 milliseconds, the consensus from those who have driven it seems to be that it makes little difference to the car's performance.

Other functionalities in the HELE system include more efficient air conditioning and intelligent gear shifts which adapt to driving style, changing up earlier to reduce fuel consumption.

With the Daily Telegraph newspaper saying that "a greener Ferrari is still very much the real deal," and CAR Magazine saying that the "stop/start system works well," Ferrari appears to have won over at least some critics with its eco-friendly system.

HELE is available as an option priced £820 (€945) but is expected to become standard on every California from 2011.

Although high-end manufacturers are only now beginning to roll out hybrid and electric concepts (notable exceptions being Fisker and Tesla), stop-start technology has been quicker to appear in prestige models.

Lamborghini confirmed that it was researching the technology back in 2009 and Porsche is fitting the systems as standard on its 2010 Panamera and 2011 Cayenne.

If the 2015 Lotus Elise concept also unveiled this week at the Paris Motor Show is anything to go by, the 2015 Lotus Elise will also use stop-start as standard.

The Paris Motor Show runs October 2-17.

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