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Like To Drive? Enjoy It While You Can

Posted in auto industry, Car Tech, Cars, Environment, Fuel-efficient, Hybrid, Legal, Newsworthy, Science by Kurt Ernst | September 24th, 2010 | 4 Responses |
2011 Ford Mustang GT

Want to buy a muscle car? Don't wait too much longer. Photo: Ford Motor Company

One of the more interesting topics in pit lane conversation during last weekend’s CTS-V driving event was the growth of hybrid offerings from virtually all car manufacturers. As enthusiasts, most of us had a common opinion: hybrids were a knee-jerk reaction from manufacturers, scrambling to comply with upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements. The new standards set by the current administration call for a CAFE of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016; to put things in perspective, current CAFE requirements call for 30.2 mpg for passenger cars and 24.1 mpg for light trucks. Fines for manufacturers who don’t meet these standards (Porsche or Ferrari, for example) are reasonable today, but will rise to as much as $10,000 per vehicle sold by 2016. In other words, hybrids are seen as the best way to meet these Draconian standards in just four years. One problem: to an enthusiast, current production hybrids aren’t nearly as satisfying or entertaining to drive as their fossil-fuel-only siblings.

Enter the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a group that Autoevolution tells us is petitioning the Obama administration for even stricter fuel economy standards. How strict? The CFA wants to mandate a CAFE of 60 mpg by 2025. Ironically, they’re pushing this standard because it will “save consumers money”, despite the fact that achieving these numbers would require the use of technologies and materials that are cost prohibitive today. Would anyone buy a Toyota Prius that got 75 mph if it cost $150,000? Probably not.

The Obama administration will publish their notice of intent for 2017 – 2025 fuel economy standards on September 30. If you like to drive, I suspect you’ll be in for some seriously bad news; in ten years, a current Toyota Camry may seem like a sports car compared to the new vehicle choices we’ll have. I’ve seen the future, and I sure as hell don’t like it.

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4 Responses

  1. Shahroz says:

    as a kid, my biggest fear was not being able to drive a fuel-driven car…i prayed that electrics wouldnt be the only option
    and now as a young adult, i fear not being able to hear a big v8 rumble in my garage with my coffee every morning when im retired.

    this is cruel

  2. Kurt says:

    Sharoz, I personally think we’re in the glory days of muscle / sports cars right now. Like it or not, the future holds some serious restrictions on performance, at least until battery technology makes electric sports cars a viable option.

    It kills me that I’m no longer in a financial position to buy a car like a Mustang GT or a 370Z, since I think it’s going to be a long time before we see cars of this capability and affordability again.

  3. Cesar M. Gonzalez says:

    Well. I respect all of your opinions, because I was a drag racer back in 1970 when I was 17. Back then my brother would let me borrow his brand new 1968 Corvette with 427 cubic inches of Earth-destructing power, and I loved every minute. That monster with its 4-barrel Holly carburetor roared like a tiger and I would beat anyone with a Mustang, a Barracuda, or a Charger……But now at age 58, I have become a nature boy, and I will welcome the DEATH of the gasoline engine…WE have wasted our energy resources on showing off power and noise as I did when I was a stupid 17 year-old…..DIE, oil age, DIE….( And oh yeah, in the 1960’s, our family business was a gas station in South Gate, California. ) CM González, Miami, Florida