A question to ponder for those of you that love the feel and sound of a high-horsepower V8 engine: will our kids drive electric muscle cars? Could it be that in a few years when you type “muscle cars for sale” into Google that electric cars will be what appears in the results instead of 442’s, Cuda’s, and Javelin’s?
Chevrolet recently published details that the new Chevy Volt will get 230 MPG. Right now one of the most purchased new cars as part of the Cash-For-Clunkers program is the Toyota Prius Hybrid. Neither of these vehicles would be considered a muscle car – not by a long shot – but it does seem to hint at the possibility of the death of the internal combustion engine, especially the high horsepower variant. Is that truly what people want and are demanding? Is that simply a result of what the market is asking for? (As a point of interest, while the Prius now is a profit generator for Toyota, it wasn’t for years. Some reports speculate that the Chevy Volt may never be able to generate a profit.) There are even some performance oriented models coming down the pipe – such as the very-cool looking Fisker Karma.
As muscle car people we all know the absolute utter joy of cracking the throttle on a cold morning in our old rides. The noise….the smell…..the occasional misfire – these are all things we treasure (well, maybe not the misfires, but the other parts are good). The engine in the car is the heart of it all – and just like humans it requires fuel and oxygen to keep the body alive. You can feel the car. It responds to you and you to it. There is an undeniable connection between man (or woman) and machine.
Every one of us has grown up with the option of horsepower. During the 1970’s the high horsepower muscle cars we loved were nearly legislated out of existence due to fuel economy and environmental concerns (among other things)….only to return a couple of decades later in full force, with just as much horsepower as before (and more) and 3 times the mileage to boot (not to mention an unbelievable drop in emissions). The new Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang are all proof of that!
This brings us back to the place we are today. Nearly 40 years ago it looked like high horsepower muscle cars were done and small economy cars were the logical choice. Today our modern muscle car choices are drool-worthy, but it seems that we’re on the cusp of driving full blown electric cars. Where will we be in 40 years? Will the next generation be driving performance cars measured in voltage instead of horsepower? Time will tell…..but I’m hoping that history repeats itself.
Besides – which car inspires you more to utter the phrase, “Hey Man – watch this!”