Bark's Bites: Nobody Needs That Much Power, Which is Exactly Why I Want It

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
by Mark "Bark M." Baruth

The minute that the Challenger and Charger Hellcats were announced, we all knew they were coming, right? All of the “NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH POWER” people that invade any and all automotive websites on the intarwebz. They couldn’t wait to ridicule anybody who indicated that 707 horsepower in a warrantied, street-legal car just might be a kinda awesome thing.

They come in a few different flavors, the power haters do. Let us identify them, shall we?

The “Less is More” crowd—These guys are sweet. Really, they are. They frequently say things like “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.” It must have never occurred to them how awesome it might be to, gee, I don’t know DRIVE A FAST CAR EVEN FASTER. When Jalopnik’s Travis Okulski asked What Car Would Be Better If It Had Less Power? the resounding answer from over 500 commenters was “NONE OF THEM, YOU PANSY (which, by the way, was the right response)!” Yet, amazingly, we are somehow fools for wanting to drive fast cars—it must mean that we lack the necessary skills to make a 1996 Infiniti G20 really dance.

The root of all this silliness is nothing more than raw jealousy. The definition of “rich” to most people can be summed up as “somebody who has more money than I do.” We can apply the same logic here, sadly. “Too much power” equals “more power than my NA Miata.”

The “You’re Overcompensating” crowd—Another personal favorite of mine. These guys hate me with a passion. Not only does my car have over four hundred horsepower, it’s yellow. To this particular group of internet commenters, I may as well have a target placed on my size 38 chest. According to them, my dong is actually so small that it’s inverted.

I would suggest that, in this day and age, that line of thought is outdated as the stereotype that only women of a certain persuasion drive Subarus. The only thing my car is an extension of is of my personality. In fact, I’d suggest that perhaps the opposite might be true—that men who drive underpowered cars do so because they think it supplements their identities as hipsters or intellectuals. Also, your girl just drooled over that Viper that drove by.

That leads me to the most self-righteous group of them all…

The Environmentalists/Hipsters— Remember this dear lady? These are the lovely people who want to tell you what you’re permitted to drive. You don’t need that much power because you’re killing a baby seal every time you use the accelerator. Never mind, of course, that the new C7 Vette returns about 30 MPG highway. It’s all about perception—and to these people driving a Prius, Leaf, or any hybrid/EV makes them better than you. In modern day society, appearing to be conscious about fuel consumption is viewed much like attending church on Sundays used to be in the 80s. It’s a sign of being a Good Person.

Fine. Let’s remind these hipsters of some things that they don’t need either:

Kale—it’s really just fancy lettuce, and you’re being wasteful with your money. Selfish jerk.


Quinoa—buy rice, you hippy, and support the paddy farmers in Asia.


Moustaches—that wax you need for your Rollie Fingers look is probably going to end up polluting the ocean someday.


Birkenstocks—why don’t you buy some cheaper sandals and donate that money to children in Africa?


Coffee Shops—who needs to spend that much money on coffee?


Brooklyn—you EFFING RUINED IT.


Craft Beer—what, you’re too good for Budweiser? Why do you hate America?

They love excessive things, too…they just love different excessive things. So screw ’em. Do an extra smokey burnout in the Whole Foods parking lot.

When it comes right down to it, it has nothing to do with need, does it? “To each according to his need…” THAT’S STRAIGHT UP COMMUNIST TALK. And this ain’t Soviet Russia, bro. It’s America. And in America, I don’t have to need something in order to buy it. America was once great because of its opulence, its love of the aesthetic, and, most importantly, its strength. You know who liked cheap, low power cars? East Germany. They also weren’t too hot on things like Air Conditioning. Or Paint. Or Food.

So, no, I don’t need 707 horsepower. Or 444. Or 361. Or even 238. Those last three numbers are the horsepower ratings of my last three daily driver cars. My little Subaru has 135 horsepower, and with the possible exception of steep hills, it has enough power to do just about anything.

Anything, that is, but excite me. And isn’t that why we buy cars, we few, foolish enthusiasts? Because we like them?

So, despite my earlier teasing, if low horsepower cars are your bag, that’s cool. Just don’t try to make them mine.

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
Mark "Bark M." Baruth

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  • Ktm Ktm on Sep 09, 2014

    I am in the there is never too much power crowd.....to a point. I have a car that has a similar power to weight ratio as the Hellcat (400 whp in 2400 lbs). I don't speed on the freeway as I don't find it all the exhilarating. However, I do love me some acceleration. Stop lights, on ramps, passing, etc. are all chances for me to enjoy the massive push that comes with all that torque/hp in a lightweight car. I can smoke my tires (245s with an LSD diff) in 1st and 2nd and have them spin in 3rd. Leaving 40 ft long dual marks on the road is obnoxious fun. Do I do it all the time and when around people? Nope, but it is great stress relief. Saying that, there is such a thing as way too much power. If it makes the car basically undriveable then the line has been crossed.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Sep 09, 2014

    My answer is easy...I drive a C7 and a hybrid. And come to think of it, the C7 could be improved..by more power! And you can have too much of some things..like money or snowstorms...but its hard to get to that point.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.https://www.ebay.com/itm/305579991767?itmmeta=01HYHVJ49MCC6HEWQY5AX9MX85&hash=item4725fca2d7:g:k9cAAOSw5V5mThFw
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand
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