It’s official: new fuel economy standards will apply to all vehicles, beginning with the 2012 model year. By 2016, the emission output standard of less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile will force automakers to achieve a fleet wide standard of 34.1 mpg. Put this another way: Ford, for example, will need to sell a whole lot of hybrids to offset a single Mustang GT. Nissan will need to move a whole lot of LEAFs to offset a GT-R, and Chevy will need to move a boatload of Volts to even out the scales for a single ZR-1 Corvette.
Does anyone else remember what happened when we implemented radical new standards for pollution control on cars, way back in the 1970s? Cars got more complex and less reliable, and by 1973 or so the classic muscle car was dead. I hope I’m wrong on this, but I see the same thing happening here. If you want a Mustang, Camaro, Challenger or Corvette, you’d best get your financing arranged quickly; I seriously doubt we’ll ever see this kind of automotive embarrassment of riches again.