Might Be Time To Stock Up…
On a good used
new ones the ones coming online now and on deck for
next year (and the years after that) are going to be budget-busters
as well as ball-busters. We are approaching the event horizon of
reasonableness when it comes to car design. Because of the unreasonableness
of the demands spewing forth from Washington. These demands have
existed for decades, but as in so many other areas, a kind of quickening
is occurring. Its no longer a little regulation here, a new
law there. It is one epic demand after the next the epicness
being necessary to garner attention (for the lawmakers making the
demands) in a political-social environment thats come unmoored
from moderation and yes reasonableness.
The 35.5 MPG
fuel efficiency fatwa, for example. It was announced with great
fanfare and much cheering by masses who have much more understanding
of the latest fantasy football rankings than of engineering realities
that all new vehicles shall average 35.5 MPG by model
year 2016. This will be almost doubled again come 2020 which
isnt all that far away, incidentally.
already about the Chicxulub Effect (see here) this has had on V-8
and even V-6 engines. Though not as immediately observable as a
large rocking dropping out of the sky, the results are similar.
Mass extinction. Even Jaguar Jaguar! pulled
the formerly standard-equipment V-8 out of the XF sedan, replacing
it with a four-cylinder literally less than half its size (and power).
If Jaguar cant afford to build (or sell) V-8 luxury
cars because they cant meet the 35.5 MPG bar, imagine the
effect this legislation will have on the bread-and-butter brands.
But wait. Why
imagine when you can know?
As a car journalist,
I get to test drive the latest/newest stuff before most people.
And the latest/newest stuff Ive had recently features some
amazing but alarming technology. Technology clearly
motivated by the pending 35.5 MPG fatwas coming-into-force.
the 2013 Chevy Malibu I recently test drove (see here
for that). It features auto-stop. That is, the engine cuts itself
off whenever the car comes to a stop in order to save a few
drops of gas and (Chevy hopes) improve the cars CAFE score.
Several other new/2013 cars Ive had recently also have this
feature and the word is, its going to be as commonplace
within a year or three as keyless ignition already is.
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an
automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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