Marchionne: V8 Muscle Cars To Be "Rare As White Flies" Under CAFE

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
marchionne v8 muscle cars to be rare as white flies under cafe

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

“…will change less than anybody imagines – but more than anyone wants…They will find a lot of new ways to do things.”

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.

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  • Mike Kelley Mike Kelley on Sep 01, 2012

    Any government that can crank out 1900 pages of CAFE regulations and 2000+ page healthcare bills is badly in need of pruning. $20 trillion of debt and 6% interest rates will force big cuts soon, I am betting.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 01, 2012

    Forget it. The DOHC V8 is as good as it ever got. And it's not just about V8 rumble either. Yes, you can boost a V6, but you've also added complexity, heat and premium fuel to the mix. Never mind the increased price and all this for what, a marginal bump in mpg over a V8? No thank's. The SVO and GNX have their place in history, but they had pretty light weight bodies in a time when we were starved for power and performance.

  • MaintenanceCosts Great, a clumsy truck that can go faster without any commensurate upgrades in stopping or turning ability. I'll look out for these in a ditch near me in the near future.
  • SCE to AUX I'm sure everything aft of the flywheel is up for the challenge.
  • Lou_BC this link shows number of units waiting to be sold: are 7630 Renegades rusting on dealer lots. 7 of the 9 on the list are Stellantis products. The Chevy 4500 chassis cab high inventory reflects what I see in my world. Ford and Ram have the chassis cab market well in hand.
  • MaintenanceCosts We need a system to get unsafe hoopties off the road. But the existing state inspection systems relying on corruptible private garages ain't it. It needs to be federally overseen, consistent, and cheap.
  • Paul Like an electric Duesenberg SJ, a vehicle not fit for the economic times it was born into. When the general public is upside down and 30 days late on an 84-month loan at 22.9% on their Kia Rio, this doesn't seem to be the answer to a question most people are asking.