I’m still making my way through the tome that is the CAFE regulations, but Sergio Marchionne already know what’s up – maybe all that time he saves by not picking out his outfit each day has something to do with it.
The Chrysler CEO was characteristically blunt with his assessment of CAFE. Going forward, V8 engines (erroneously described as “supercharged Hemis” in certain major outlets) will be “rare as white flies”. Marchionne also delivered more prophetic broad strokes, stating CAFE will “will change the way this industry operates” and that “Everything is on the table…” when it comes to the next generation of cars.
I’m not entirely convinced. Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics put it best when describing to NBC how he envisioned the changes that CAFE will bring. According to him, the automobile
At the height of the oil-crisis, when muscle cars were thought to be dinosaurs on the verge of extinction, who would have thought that the 2012 Corvette Z06, with a big-block V8 would retun 15/24 mpg city highway, or that today’s crop of V6-powered pickups would lose nothing to their 8-cylinder brethren in terms of power or towing? There are multiple arguments for or against CAFE – like many of life’s important issues, it’s not entirely black and white.
As far as I’m concerned, more efficient engines, in the abstract, are always a good thing. I take a cornucopian view with respect to automotive technology – whether it’s more efficient powertrains or lighter vehicles (which needs to be the next breakthrough if we’re going to make any gains) will allow us to enjoy a future of motoring that will, like Jim Hall says, change less than anybody will imagine – and hopefully less than any of us want.