By on August 31, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe - Image: Honda

As I write this, one of my favorite race tracks is entirely underwater. Many years ago, I wrote for a Houston-based automotive website and we used MSR Houston as a testing facility. It was also the track where I nervously watched my little brother start his first wheel-to-wheel race back in 2013. Now the start/finish flag station looks out over a mirror-finished hurricane lake stretching to the horizon.

Every time something like this happens in the United States it tends to get people talking about climate change and what can be done to slow or halt the process. Predictably, the privately-owned automobile comes in for a fair share — maybe more than a fair share — of criticism as a result. I couldn’t tell you if the internal combustion engine actually makes a difference to the climate, and I suspect the facts are less clear than they are made out to be, but it doesn’t matter. Enough people believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) for public policy to be affected as a result. Nobody in Salem was really a witch but that little fact didn’t save anybody from being burned at the stake. The same is true when it comes to climate change and the automobile.

Sports cars and performance cars are a favorite target of the save-the-earth crowd, of course, but I think I can make the argument that increased availability of fast cars in general — and “hot hatches” in particular — can actually make a positive impact on carbon-dioxide emissions. Are you skeptical? Read on, my friend.


Let’s start with the obvious fact that no single individual, or small group of individuals, can make a major impact on global CO2 emissions. I spent this past weekend driving a Corvette flat-out around a racetrack in Denver, which didn’t make much difference to the planet as a whole. As penance for this, I rode a motorcycle to work today and turned off the engine every time I was stopped in traffic. This didn’t make much of a difference either.

In fact, laying off the Corvette summers wouldn’t help even if everybody did it. Crushing every Corvette ever made wouldn’t save the planet. There just aren’t enough of them out there. Last year Chevrolet made 40,689 Vettes in total. There are probably fewer than a million Corvettes in active circulation. (Most of them are currently in some old man’s garage preparing for a vigorous Saturday of Cars, Coffee, and Zaino, but that’s besides the point.)

Contrast that relatively paltry figure with 88.1 million, which was the global vehicle sales total for 2016. The vast majority of those vehicles were anything but sporting, so my back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that if we could increase the efficiency of next year’s new cars by just five percent it would make a bigger difference to the climate than getting rid of every sports and performance car on the road today, period.

The good news is that we could do that easily. In fact, we could do double that, no problem. All we have to do is to convince every new-car buyer to get the “normal” sedan or hatchback version of his car instead of getting the crossover version. As an example, the current Honda CR-V gets 28 city and 34 highway, but the equivalent Civic gets 32 city and 42 highway — a difference of about twenty percent. And those are just the government numbers. A quick examination of sites like Fuelly shows that the real-world difference between sedans and crossovers is even greater, probably because EPA tests are notorious for underestimating the effects of curb weight.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT driving shot, Image: Hyundai

Crossover mania isn’t just limited to the United States, by the way. Our supposedly superior European cousins have gone absolutely nuts for them, as have the Chinese. So this isn’t just a matter of Jane down the street getting a CR-V instead of a Civic — it’s also Jean in France picking a Renault Kadjar over a Megane. Get rid of crossovers, and all of a sudden the CO2 emissions of the global fleet falls dramatically, as does fuel consumption. It’s a win-win for the planet and the economy. The only sticky question is: How do you make that happen?

After all, people want crossovers, and that’s doubly true for people who don’t have much automotive enthusiasm running through their veins. My compatriots in the car-journo game tell me all the time that nothing can stop crossover mania. When I hear that, I think about the fact that the 1964.5 and 1965 Mustangs sold a total over over 686,000 units. This was a kind of car that didn’t exist at the beginning of 1964, mind you. Nobody knew they wanted it until they saw it — and then they wanted it. So what we need is a modern answer to the 1964.5 Mustang, something that will cause people to run en masse towards a more efficient and responsible vehicle.

In the meantime, however, we need to get the automakers to build high-performance, high-profile, high-excitement versions of their everyday cars. Why? It’s been shown over and over again that people acquire their automotive preferences early in life. If we get young people excited about actual cars, and by “cars” I mean vehicles that don’t look like toasters on stilts, then they are more likely to buy real cars in the future instead of jacked-up cars that use more metal, rubber, plastic, and fuel to no particular purpose other than sitting higher in traffic.

Cars like the Civic Si and Fiesta ST and Elantra GT are absolutely critical to this idea of keeping people excited about the traditional automotive form factors. We need more of them, and they need to be cheaper both to purchase and to insure. Otherwise, young people will gravitate to stuff like the Toyota C-HR. A fine vehicle, but it’s clearly meant to put its owners on the road to a lifetime of crossover and SUV ownership. I’d rather they bought a Toyota 86 and started on a road to a lifetime of coupe and sedan ownership.

It doesn’t matter that the performance variant of a regular car might be less efficient than the equivalent crossover, because most customers won’t always buy the performance variant. Yesterday’s Civic Si owners are tomorrow’s Accord owners, but yesterday’s CR-V owners are tomorrow’s Pilot owners, and they’ll stay that way until they stop buying cars. Most importantly, the existence of “hot” hatches and sedans helps change the public image of traditional automobiles. Right now, too many of us think that real cars are only for people who can’t afford a crossover. That needs to change, and the best way to make it change is to make cool cars that people want to be seen in. Most of the Mustangs sold in 1965 were six-cylinder sleds, not Shelby-tuned monsters, but the Shelby image filtered down.

This isn’t something that can happen overnight. It took a while for consumer preferences to drift towards crossovers and it will take a while to bring them back to normal. But if climate science has taught us anything, it’s that the cumulative effects of very small decisions can wind up acting like a very big decision. Towards that end, and in recognition of the fact that very few of us can effectively remember anything that cannot be reduced to a catchy slogan, I offer you this: “Warm up the hatchbacks. Cool off the planet.” Spread the word. Save the climate, if you’re into that sort of thing. You might just end up saving the future of performance cars while you’re at it.

[Images: Honda, Hyundai]

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118 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: To Cool Off the Planet, Just Add Hot Hatches...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Click and bait.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      ^^^^This

      This was the kicker for me: “Enough people believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) for public policy to be affected as a result. Nobody in Salem was really a witch but that little fact didn’t save anybody from being burned at the stake. The same is true when it comes to climate change and the automobile.”

      Because scientists backed by decades of peer reviewed study using state of the art technology is just like a bunch of superstitious religious loonies waving around book of bronze age fairy tales. Totes samesies.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I do understand that there are arguments re: how much carbon is being unlocked by vehicles versus industry versus energy production, but yeah, I felt that paragraph was red meat for the commentariat.

        I don’t actually _mind_ it that much, but it’s not sophisticated clickbait and TTAC can do (and has done) better. For a masterclass in effective trolling, I recommend https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/02/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-232-the-chevy-corvette-must-die/

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “Because scientists backed by decades of peer reviewed study using state of the art technology is just like a bunch of superstitious religious loonies waving around book of bronze age fairy tales. Totes samesies.”

        Given that not a single hysterical prediction these guys have made has come true…yeah. Wasn’t NYC supposed to be under water by now? Or was it FL? Wasn’t there supposed to be a huge increase in mega-hurricanes (not just the odd one-off here and there, like, you know…always?)?

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “Given that not a single hysterical prediction these guys have made has come true”

          It helps to read the actual science.

          Certain of the media made “hysterical predictions”; the actual results are tracking pretty close to expectations. In a few cases, warming is actually worse.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “Certain of the media made “hysterical predictions”; the actual results are tracking pretty close to expectations. In a few cases, warming is actually worse.”

            So scientists can predict the warming, but not the effects of the warming? What tangible bad things have happened as a result of “climate change”?

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “No matter how we spin it, though, the trendlines all point the same way.”

            Again, it’s not the trend lines I’m quibbling with, it’s the RESULTS of those trend lines. “Earth is getting slightly warmer”. Okay, got it. “This is terrible because it will cause X, Y, Z!” Umm, wait, what? What are the X, Y, and Z that have happened as a result of the warming earth? And have they been terrible?

            “I’ll spin this around: can you prove that we’ll all be just fine? And I mean 100% prove it? With actual peer-reviewed science?”

            When I am telling you all of the changes to make to your life based on the bogeyman, you may place the burden on me.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          your arrogance is mind-bending. people with tons of expertise in the field have been studying these trends and their effects for decades, but you- some random schmucko on the Internet- think you know better because of what you see when you look out the window.

          *climate is not weather.*
          *climate is not weather.*
          *climate is not weather.*
          *climate is not weather.*
          *climate is not weather.*
          *climate is not weather.*

          https://xkcd.com/1732/

          just admit the truth. you deny it because if you didn’t, someone might tell you that you need to change the way you live in certain aspects. and we know what temper tantrums some people throw when someone tries to tell them what to do.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            I’ll ask again, since you angrily avoided the question: what bad things have happened as a result of climate change?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Climate is not weather but all negative weather events are blamed on climate change.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “Climate is not weather but all negative weather events are blamed on climate change.”

            Exactly. And the absence of negative weather events is also climate change. Katrina was climate change, and signaled the start of more mega-hurricanes due to climate change, but then we didn’t have any hurricanes for a long time, and that was due to climate change too! No snowfall? Climate change. Big blizzard? Climate change! It’s all climate change!

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            The IPCC results are a little tough to parse, but the the Guardian as a summary. IPCC models are quite accurate:

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/jul/31/climate-models-are-even-more-accurate-than-you-thought

            No matter how we spin it, though, the trendlines all point the same way.

            If you’re asking to prove direct casaulity for Harvey, well, that’s not really possible. That said, I’m more likely to believe a consensus of thousands of pre-eminent physicists whose models are saying that increasingly extreme weather is an expected effect and lines up with the model.

            I’ll spin this around: can you prove that we’ll all be just fine? And I mean 100% prove it? With actual peer-reviewed science?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @S2K Chris:

            “I’ll ask again, since you angrily avoided the question: what bad things have happened as a result of climate change?”

            —- How many times has Texas flooded in all its history?
            —- How many times has Texas flooded in the last 20 years?

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “@S2K Chris:

            —- How many times has Texas flooded in all its history?”

            Uhh, kinda a fair number of times?

            http://www.mysanantonio.com/150years/major-stories/slideshow/Major-floods-of-Texas-104824/photo-7628395.php

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            It’s true that Katrina was originally blamed on climate change, but it was eventually determined that the true cause was Crab People. Mainstream media glossed over that fact because it didn’t fit in with the narrative.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          NYC was under water several years ago, for long enough to cause great damage. Today, Houston is under water. It’s Houston’s third “500-year flood” in three years. Seeing a pattern here? Seattle had its coldest, rainiest winter, followed by its hottest summer. Although you can’t predict specific events, the overall prediction of “Global Wierding,” of increasing storm intensity, is coming true in real time. Have you been following the wildfires in the peat bogs of Greenland? Another unprecedented event, part of the new normal.

          • 0 avatar
            abercrave

            Yeah, but “Climategate”.

            Yeah, but some law professor mentioned sun spots.

            Yeah, but proponents of the scientific method are exactly like Bronze Age lunatics.

            The level of willful ignorance in these comments is mind-boggling… SMDH.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I’ve been in Houston 35 years. Harvey was my 7th 500 year flood. I ain’t no mathematician but….

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “It’s Houston’s third “500-year flood” in three years.”

            When I was a teenager my dad told me that there was one summer where forest fires in the region were so bad that the town was covered in smoke. He had been in our town for close to 40 years when he said that.

            I’ve had smoky days for 1/2 of this summer. In the last 10 years there have been a few other summers with fire problems.

            I had a long talk with a trapper guide/outfitter who lives in a remote area. He has a journal that shows a gradual change in weather and even animal range changes.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Re: what bad things…

          Ocean acidification, massive coral die offs, reduction in shellfish production, even in farmed tanks using ocean water.

          North polar ice reduction, reduced planetary albedo in northern summer.

          Sea levels have risen. Ask an islander or someone from Miami or NOLA if you’re not sure this is “bad”.

          I like big motor cars too, but I don’t allow that to blind me to reality. Not liking what something means to you doesn’t actually affect it’s validity.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        The oft quoted stat that 15 ships produce the same amount of pollution as all the worlds cars combined may be somewhat misleading, but the fact is that if AGW is real it has less to do with cars than globalization and the vast amount of crap we import from China.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “Because scientists backed by decades of peer reviewed study using state of the art technology is just like a bunch of superstitious religious loonies waving around book of bronze age fairy tales.”

        They are. Their religion just differs a bit. And their favored pulpits.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “They are. Their religion just differs a bit. And their favored pulpits.”

          Science is nothing like religion, and peer-review isn’t mysticism. The studies and data are public and reproducible. You’re welcome, and in fact, encouraged, to reproduce, refine and criticize the work. The whole process is designed to do just that.

          AGCC is holding up about as well as Evolution at this point; the only credible criticism is refinement. The _increduluous_ criticism of AGCC is about on-par with what comes out of the Creationist crowd vis a vis Evolution, or Flat Earthers versus Astrophysics.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Science is nothing like religion, and peer-review isn’t mysticism. The studies and data are public and reproducible. You’re welcome, and in fact, encouraged, to reproduce, refine and criticize the work. The whole process is designed to do just that.”

            Yet, Climategate.

            “AGCC is holding up about as well as Evolution at this point; the only credible criticism is refinement. The _increduluous_ criticism of AGCC is about on-par with what comes out of the Creationist crowd vis a vis Evolution, or Flat Earthers versus Astrophysics.”

            I’m none of those things and I say its at least partial bullsh*t. Solar weather and geo-engineering are extremely significant if not total factors in so called global warming. Cui bono?

            I find it interesting intelligent people can maintain skepticism in the face of religion, pseudo science, and flat earth whatever (as do I), but yet with this its always 100% settled and you’re an idiot/fool/nazi/fascist/bolshevik if you don’t agree. You really don’t think data can’t be faked and universities cannot engage in collusion for financial gain or to cover up mistakes? Oh wait, Climategate.

            scientificamerican.com/article/sun-spots-and-climate-change/

            http://www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/what-is-geoengineering/what-is-geoengineering/

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            Yet, Climategate.”

            Climategate was quite literally nothing. CRU was investigated eight times and nothing, absolutely nothing, was ever found regarding fraud, collusion or coverups of data. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

            “Solar weather and geo-engineering are extremely significant if not total factors in so called global warming”

            And do you not think that physicists take the sun and what little engineering efforts are done into account in their models? Do you really think they say “Oh, crivvens, I forgot to include the massive nuclear furnace in the sky that’s responsible for the very effect I’m studying”?

            Solar weather is accounted for in the model. Seriously, go read it. Start here and keep going: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-2-4.html

            “yet with this its always 100% settled and you’re an idiot/fool/nazi/fascist/bolshevik if you don’t agree”

            No scientist says that, and it’s a gross strawman to suggest it. What they say is “Here’s the data, here’s the methods, here’s the conclusions: prove us wrong”. To date, that hasn’t happened, and even Exxon’s and the Heritage Front’s own research backs it up, though that work was swept under the rug and is only recently coming to light.

            Though I do admit, if I were a climate scientist, I’d be pretty pissed off dealing with crackpots assaulting my character and my work on a daily basis. I’d probably call them idiots and fools, if not other choice words, too.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            OK, even if you want to ignore the judgement of 90+ % of climate scientists, the vast majority of other national governments, and even the Pope, and you can’t and won’t admit climate change is a reality, please read a little about Ocean Acidifications. Wikipedia defines this as “the ongoing decrease of Ph in the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.” That’s easily measurable and confirmable. It’s a gradual, continuous process that gives data uncluttered by the daily events of storms and weather. I’m not aware of any organized movement, scientific or political, to refute it.

            Wiki adds, “Thomas Lovejoy, former chief biodiversity advisor to the World Bank, has suggested that “the acidity of the oceans will more than double in the next 40 years. This rate is 100 times faster than any changes in ocean acidity in the last 20 million years, making it unlikely that marine life can somehow adapt to the changes.” This simple chemical process has complex effects, but they definitely threaten the foundation of the oceanic food chain. Coral bleaching destroys the nesting sites of various organisms, and acidic ocean water hinders the formation of calcium shells in the tiny creatures that feed small fish, eaten by bigger fish. A large portion of the world’s billions rely on food from the sea, and it’s also at stake in this uncontrolled, worldwide experiment. Feeling lucky?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Fukushima radioactive water will have killed the oceans long before acidification.

            I have to run for the moment.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Science is nothing like religion, and peer-review isn’t mysticism. The studies and data are public and reproducible. You’re welcome, and in fact, encouraged, to reproduce, refine and criticize the work. The whole process is designed to do just that.

            AGCC is holding up about as well as Evolution at this point; the only credible criticism is refinement. The _increduluous_ criticism of AGCC is about on-par with what comes out of the Creationist crowd vis a vis Evolution, or Flat Earthers versus Astrophysics.

            “Science is nothing like religion,…”

            ….And my religion is always better than all the other religions…..

            For any me…

            In the abstract, you’re right. And in fairly simple cases, where reproducing, refining and criticizing existing and controversial work is feasible for lots of people with lots of viewpoints, the process mostly works fine. Take gravity…

            But when what is taken as “proof”, is so complex, and so far beyond the abilities of virtually anyone to even begin to verify, much less draw conclusions from, you’re back to nothing more than “trust me, I’ve got a more impressive sounding degree than you…. In theology…..Did my thesis on applied whichhuntry…”

            If things were as clear cut as you claim they are, noone would dispute them. It’s not as if half the United States runs around disputing gravity. Nor thermodynamics.

            Also, people of a generally similar predisposition to many of those behind AGCC, have spent the past 80 years trying to forcefeed the population the abject, and trivially obvious, nonsense that Keynesianism, and for that matter “macro” economics in general, is some sort of science. Even going so far as to hand eachoter prizes in “economic science.” So it’s not like all things attempted to be passed of as science in our particular progressive dystopia, is any less suspect than whatever some Mullah or whichhunter may be involving himself with at any given time.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        The purpose of that paragraph was to keep this from being a referendum on AGW but I should have recalled that believers in modern progressive religion have a Torquemadian fervor when it comes to rooting out even the appearance of heresy.

        Now here’s the irony: most witches were burned because their accusers could not distinguish between correlation and causation. In unrelated news, how about all these hurricanes arriving after the introduction of the Mustang GT350?

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          (Insert graph showing decreasing # of pirates and increasing global warming here)

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “Now here’s the irony: most witches were burned because their accusers could not distinguish between correlation and causation”

          Boy, that a really nice strawman you keep building.

        • 0 avatar
          Carzzi

          “In unrelated news, how about all these hurricanes arriving after the introduction of the Mustang GT350?”
          Wikipedia says that Ford renamed the Hurricane series of 6.2 V8’s to “Boss”, with sensitivity to the suffering Katrina wrought.
          Now they done brought some of that Voodoo to Houston with that GT350, no?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Your trigger warning needs to be in bold.

          The science is settled, except for it’s not. Luckily there are still some objective people out there willing to provide new insights.

          Like these guys:

          https://www DOT omicsonline DOT org/open-access/New-Insights-on-the-Physical-Nature-of-the-Atmospheric-Greenhouse-Effect-Deduced-from-an-Empirical-Planetary-Temperature-Model.pdf

          http://principia-scientific DOT org/bombshell-science-study-validates-slaying-of-greenhouse-gas-theory/

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            So I’m guessing in your world, the only “objective” people are the ones who agree with you.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            >So I’m guessing in your world, the only “objective” people are the ones who agree with you.

            That’s rather assumptive straw man since I never stated MY position.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Sadly, it became impossible to appeal to anything peer-reviewed after Climategate, which uncovered a global, systematic operation to stuff peer review panels with shills for AGW. An organized destruction of peer-reviewed publication system like that never happened before, at least not at the global scale.

        I say sadly, because a scandal like that does not in any way makes the global warming go away, should it exist. But now anyone who thinks that peer review iterates toward some kind of objective truth is gullible at best.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.”

          “The eight major investigations covered by secondary sources include: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK); Independent Climate Change Review (UK); International Science Assessment Panel Archived 9 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (UK); Pennsylvania State University first panel Archived 25 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine. and second panel Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (US); United States Environmental Protection Agency (US); Department of Commerce (US); National Science Foundation (US)”

          Investigations Clear Scientists of Wrongdoing

          Six official investigations have cleared scientists of accusations of wrongdoing.

          A three-part Penn State University cleared scientist Michael Mann of wrongdoing.
          Two reviews commissioned by the University of East Anglia”supported the honesty and integrity of scientists in the Climatic Research Unit.”
          A UK Parliament report concluded that the emails have no bearing on our understanding of climate science and that claims against UEA scientists are misleading.
          The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Inspector General’s office concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of their employees.
          The National Science Foundation’s Inspector General’s office concluded, “Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct…we are closing this investigation with no further action.”
          Other agencies and media outlets have investigated the substance of the emails.

          The Environmental Protection Agency, in response to petitions against action to curb heat-trapping emissions, dismissed attacks on the science rooted in the stolen emails.
          Factcheck.org debunked claims that the emails put the conclusions of climate science into question.
          Politifact.com rated claims that the emails falsify climate science as “false.”
          An Associated Press review of the emails found that they “don’t undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.”

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Cars make a tiny difference to the climate, partly due to the enrgey required to produce them and transport them and their parts to the destinations. Compared to burning coalmines, production of electricity and heat, and other forms of transport they are a drop in the ocean.

    I think crossovers today ‘are’ pony cars though. Instead of luring us in with the performance that the Mustang hinted at, their luring us with by to look like the SUVs and trucks that their customers grew up seeing everywhere.
    My hope is that the CR-H is a step forward (downwards?)towards more aerodynamic hatchbacks. Heck, maybe the CR-H is the new Mustang, or at least a Barracuda.
    Maybe sportier (and lowered) CUV’s is the way we need to go to to get people back on the ground.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      “Maybe sportier (and lowered) CUV’s is the way we need to go to to get people back on the ground.”

      Good idea! I suggest we also remove 3 doors and call them “coupes.”

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      ALL fashion is cyclical. Longer, lower, wider will come back into style eventually. Just like today’s yummy Mommie won’t be caught dead in her mother’s minivan or station wagon, tomorrow’s won’t be caught dead in a jacked-up CUV.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    “Cars like the Civic Si and Fiesta ST and Elantra GT are absolutely critical to this idea of keeping people excited about the traditional automotive form factors.”

    Aren’t crossovers a return to “traditional automotive form factors”?

    High-box vehicles are the traditional form, low sedans and hatches are the newfangled upstart.

    Before the long/low/wide trend hit during the Space Race era most cars were upright high-roofed machines with generous ground clearance. It’s an efficient way to build a multi-purpose car and results in better views and more usable space within a given footprint.

    With modern designs the handling and economy compromises of a tall box vehicle are clearly acceptable to the majority of buyers.

    I’m not a CUV fan myself, but don’t think that the halo effect of hot hatches that very few people want are going to meaningfully change the rational preference most buyers have for a CR-V over a Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “With modern designs the handling and economy compromises of a tall box vehicle are clearly acceptable to the majority of buyers.”

      …At least in a world where any dynamic superiority over a stepvan is harshly beaten down at the point of a speeding and insurance ticket book. When you flat out ban anything rising above mediocrity, it’s rather tautological that mediocrity is all you end up with.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I recently spent a bit of time around a ’40 Ford sedan, and it is indeed quite similar in profile to a modern CUV, the big difference being the increase in utility of having a full opening back hatch and folding rear row of seats. With current gas prices, 28/34 mpg sounds more than acceptable (I consider anything in the realm of 20 mpg perfectly acceptable quite frankly for my own needs). Why deal with a low-to-the-ground sedan with less TV/furniture/etc hauling utility? The ride/handling is getting better every year as well, dealing with the issue of spring stiffness to compensate for higher center of gravity body lean.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A large sedan V8 or Ecoboost sedan that can tow (say 7000lbs) to get people out of their trucks and SUVs?

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      Yes! A Camry/Fusion sized sedan or wagon set up to tow. Perfect!

    • 0 avatar
      bienville

      Truck buyers want a truck. Not a car that can tow.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        And car buyers that want to tow have to buy a truck.

        Just ask the author of this piece.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I’ll argue it is inherently secure and comfy feeling to be high up in a sturdy truck on long road trips and such, as long as they can afford the gas bill people don’t seem to mind their crew cabs. To me the current half tons are somewhat too large, but something striking the middle between a current midsizer and half ton would be the goldilocks sweet spot for me. Like a gen 1 Tundra/Sequoia sized truck (with SUV derivative pretty please).

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            Secure and comfy, maybe. But your trip, every trip will feel so much slower than in a car, with the road rushing by closer. Eighty in a pickup feels like sixty in a car
            , which is probably why so many of ya’ll are driving eighty in your pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “Secure and comfy, maybe. But your trip, every trip will feel so much slower than in a car, with the road rushing by closer. Eighty in a pickup feels like sixty in a car, which is probably why so many of ya’ll are driving eighty in your pickups.”

            For me it’s just the opposite. Keeping a low, taut car under 75 on the open highway feels like you’re doing it wrong.
            Being stuck behind left lane dawdlers or trucks passing each other was infuriating. The pit in your stomach every time you saw a state trooper was even worse.

            A truck doesn’t continually tempt you to push it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I observe a noticeable lack of response in the comments, and no wonder… Even the mighty Flex only goes to 4,500 lbs.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Making hot hatches with looks that appeal to people over the age of 13 might help the segment as a whole sell better. Only VW has gotten the memo there.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I think you misspelled ’50’.
      But even if you didn’t, we should try to get the kids interested in hot hatches now, so that they buy hatchbacks in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        3XC

        The last generation of people who will ever learn to drive have already been born. They’re in diapers now. Their kids will never, ever operate cars on public streets, and only a tiny handful of them will get into “antique” cars with pedals and shifters and human operated controls, and then only as a hobby.

        In 60 years, combustion engine driven, human operated cars will be what horses are today: a hobby for those with means, a pastime, an enthusiast community who partake for their own enjoyment. Its utility will be nil.

        In that sense, who cares what “the kids” like? Based on recent and ongoing demographic trends, by the time they have the purchasing ability to buy their first new car, they’ll need a family sized people mover anyway.

        The golden age is right now. There will be no internal combustion engined cars better than a SL65/M4/Cayman S/Shelby 350R/take your pick when the kids currently in diapers enter their indulgent late adult years and have the means to buy a premium offering from an esteemed brand. So really yes, Honda isn’t planting any seeds with Gundam Wing creations with too many intersecting angles to be convincingly doodled by 12 year olds in the margins of their schoolbooks. It accomplishes nothing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Man, and here I was, thinking the better part of getting a “fast” car at 50, was to appeal to the fairer sex at 13?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This guy gets it.

  • avatar
    ant

    I think the way forward is plugin hybrids.

    Even if the electric battery portion is only 5-10 miles, it would save a lot of fuel/gas. The car wouldn’t even need to be able to run electric only.

    Transportation of goods via semi-trucks is a bigger problem to solve. Electric semi-trucks with batteries just isn’t going to work I don’t think. Electric trains would have to be used, along with their needed infrastructure. In the US, Republicans HATE trains, and won’t pay for them. It isn’t surprising, seeing as how electric passenger trains provide disproportionate benefit to densely population centers. Democrats live in these places.

    All this doesn’t matter anyway. All efforts to combat climate change going foreword are going to be swamped with mitigation, and nothing will be left over for prevention.

    Republicans will quickly figure out that it is mostly Democrats that live in the big coastal cities that will face the most expensive challenges from climate change. They will oppose funding anything that helps people that wont vote for them. Even as it is now, they don’t do anything to help any of their voters that aren’t wealthy.

    CAFE fuel standards has been a failure in my view to lower US dependence on liquid fuels. I’d prefer to scrap it in favor of higher gas taxes. The gas/fuel tax increases could be revenue neutral by distributing the money back to working people via a tax deduction. This would be less regulation on the car-making industry.

    Restrictions on engine displacement sizes over-seas is also something that annoys me. It’s causing all the OEM to downsize engines in favor of turbo-charging. This isn’t saving any fuel, and makes cars more complicated than they would be otherwise.

    As for crossovers verses sedans, I wish there were more choices of hybrid CUVS. The RAV4 is pretty much the only choice now.

    • 0 avatar
      ant

      Also related. From the AP:

      “12:05 p.m.

      President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall.

      The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief account is part of a spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when Congress returns from its August recess. The $876 million cut, part of the 1,305-page measure’s homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump’s down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

      It seems sure that GOP leaders will move to reverse the disaster aid cut next week. The optics are politically bad and there’s only $2.3 billion remaining in disaster coffers.”

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “Migration” hardly matters much for fossil fuel burns.

      Ultimately, all that matters is whether fossil fuels are literally left in the ground or not. The entire 1st world driving around in hydro power recharged Teslas, matter not one wit to Gaja, as long as the lower prices resulting from lessened 1st world oil demand, makes the stuff more affordable to the average African. Living in areas where even a power grid covering a mile radius, is bombed daily, and all copper is dug up and stolen.

      Aside from stupid cheap nuclear power creating H2 so cheaply not even the least environmentally nor risk concerned wild catter, can hope to compete; someone, somewhere is going to face the choice of having their kid die from something, or get in his fossil fuel burning car and drive somewhere to get help.

      Ditto for militias caught trying to stave off eachother. Even the US military under supposedly “enviro-nazi” Obama, made exactly zero attempt at not burning fossil fuels, and at trading their tanks and apcs for Priuses and bicycles. When push come to shove and things get serious, people will use the most efficient alternative. Childish PC posturing and virtue signalling be damned.

      So the oil will get burned. Unless a cheaper, more efficient, alternative is available. In the middle of a Kandahar battlefield, not just in some Cadillac branded coffee shop on Manhattan.

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    “…and by “cars” I mean vehicles that don’t look like toasters on stilts…”

    Another great description of these boxes on wheels.

    Thank you Jack.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    For starters, I’d level the playing field for any and all ICE passenger vehicle (with limited commercial exemptions) with regards to efficiency, safety and emissions, especially the light truck loophole (PT Cruiser anyone?).
    But short of a 5 dollar a gallon gas tax, or a curb weight tax, and similar penalties worldwide, these blights are not going away.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “For starters, I’d level the playing field for any and all ICE passenger vehicle (with limited commercial exemptions) with regards to efficiency, safety and emissions, especially the light truck loophole (PT Cruiser anyone?).”

      CAFE and the resulting SUV boom should be a shining example to everyone that the government has zero ability to effectively regulate the automotive market to mitigate the theoretical effects of global warming.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        CAFE, like all regulations in progressive dystopias, are written with input from the largest operators in the regulations’ field. With a “who’s closest to the junta,” hence domestic, bias. Hence, as long as the Big3 have their edge in larger vehicles, the rules will be written to favor larger vehicles, and to make it maximally difficult for new entrants to take away the Big3s main cash cows.

        Exactly the same reason European regulations tend to favor small diesels, which (no doubt surprising to no end for the average well indoctrinated progressive Newspeak regurgitator) just so happens to be an area where European manufacturers have an edge. Strange as that may seem….

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    “Nobody in Salem was really a witch”

    I dunno man, old Constance Hargrave had some pretty gnarly candles on her front porch…

  • avatar
    Toad

    To a HUGE segment of the population cars are just not seen as exciting anymore and introducing performance variants is not going to change that. 30 years ago most young males used their car as a form of self expression because there just were not that many other ways to distinguish yourself from the rest of the herd.

    Today a car hobby has to compete with cheaper pursuits like gaming, p*ornhub, much easier access to sex, spotify, etc. Cars are getting more expensive, and insurance companies long ago figured out that performance car + youth = high risk behavior (Jack’s insurance carrier must never read his writing).

    Getting kids today interested in cars is like getting kids of the 1920’s interested in horse riding; it’s never going to be as popular as it was.

    BTW, if you really want to cut emissions we need to get casual pickup drivers to move to CUV’s; that will have far more impact than a few tuned sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “casual pickup drivers to move to CUV”

      Please show your math.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I don’t really see the huge fuel economy gains to be made in the “Truck/CUV” switch. Most of those truck drivers would probably want something in the Highlander/Traverse/3-row crossover size class. The fuel economy gulf isn’t all that big between them.

        If you think you’re going to get an F150 driver into an Escape, my only response is LMFAO

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Hey I have a F150 and F250 and an Escape and I put more miles on the Escape than on the trucks, though I log most of my miles in a Panther.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Scoutdude

            Yes but would you “give up” your trucks?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            OH hell no, they are for working and in general they don’t move w/o carrying something that I won’t put in another vehicle either because it is too large or heavy to fit in one of the smaller vehicles or it is dirty and I wouldn’t want to put it in a carpeted cargo area.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “casual pickup drivers to move to CUV”

        “Casual”????????????

        I’m rather serious about my pickup driving ;)

        “Yes but would you “give up” your trucks?”

        NO!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          A few true compact pickups might get those “casual pickup drivers” back into trucks, away from CUV. Honestly, my best option right now (other than resto-modding my ’97 Ranger) is to buy the Trailhawk version of the Renegade. I really want an open bed and the Fiat Strada/Ram 700 would be almost perfect for my needs (especially the two-row version) but the odds of seeing one by the time I quit driving seem very slim right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      My casual pickup gets 20.5mpg in mixed use and 22.5 on the freeway. That’s better than most midsized CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        My 2010 Highlander with always on 4wd gets roughly 24 mpg on my 55 mile round trip commute, cruise set at 65 mph, city is only about 2 miles of the whole thing.

        Honestly I think either a loaded mid size pickup or a 1/2 ton crew cab could more or less equal it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Jack B.: My “casual pickup”, a ’97 Ranger, does that and better… 24+ on the freeway with the AC running and 21+ mixed with AC turned off (which is most of the year when we have relatively mild summers like this year.) I just need something newer with more than 112 horses under the hood.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Too big to read entire thing. your second paragraph was perfect and enough. There are also people who wants to stop eating beef because cows pollute. Pets pollute. Air travel pollutes. For example, no need to travel to Europe to see museums and buildings. Modern tech can do it online. What about sport teams? – these people flying and driving like crazy. There are 1000 things that can be cut but some just go after cars.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Get rid of crossovers, and all of a sudden the CO2 emissions of the global fleet falls dramatically, as does fuel consumption.”

    Wait, so this horrid model type increases CO2? Why are the Green Warriors for Gaia not assaulting suburbia ANTIFA style?

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I’m constantly surprised by how much the conversation hasn’t moved on in the past decade. “Oh it’s just a one off event, that doesn’t mean that the climate is changing” This is exactly the same response each time…Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, the Colorado fires a few years back, last year’s California drought.

    One thing to appreciate is that climate modelling is a more exact science as each year goes by; the best models outlined the path of Sandy with a fair amount or precision and they were bang on about Harvey. What’s driving this is ocean temperatures, the global waters are warmer now than they have ever been, and that fuels storm activity.

    Even if you believe that the temperature rise is true but not man made, why would you want to add to it when the scope of catastrophic weather events keeps increasing over time/ Despite the modest amount of trolling, Jack is right; the way to reduce emissions is not to make big changes on small volume vehicles, it’s to reduce the consumption on the biggest volume segment of the market.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “I’m constantly surprised by how much the conversation hasn’t moved on in the past decade. “Oh it’s just a one off event, that doesn’t mean that the climate is changing” This is exactly the same response each time…Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, the Colorado fires a few years back, last year’s California drought.”

      Because we never had hurricanes or droughts or fires before GW? In fact, that’s the whole point, it’s NOT a one off event. It’s happened plenty before. If the storms are worse now it’s because A) we’re that much more built up in the places the storms hit, and/or B) we have the mass media to more widely publicize every aspect of every tragedy.

      As alluded to above, what’s frustrating is that every time we have a cooler summer or something, we’re told “fools, weather isn’t climate” but then we have one bad storm and all the sudden it’s “fools, don’t you see, global warming!!”

      • 0 avatar
        Brett Woods

        Such a view is not unusual and it’s commonly experienced when gazing absently into a toilet bowl. The self-loving, erudite man explains it thusly:

        “Due to the confined area and buildup of pressure, along with the influence of Martians and their fallible perceptions causing an improper application of Gay-Lussac’s law and an erroneous conclusion…. There is no proof it smells! Anyway, even if it did smell, it’s such a tiny smell.”

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Even if you believe that the temperature rise is true but not man made, why would you want to add to it when the scope of catastrophic weather events keeps increasing over time/ Despite the modest amount of trolling”

      I’ll toast to this, although my solution is a bit extreme and dystopic. I think if you talk to most “deniers” they are open to other forms of energy but like most logical people, the economics need to line up. They may with solar in large amounts in a decentralized way, such as a city. From what I have seen of solar farms the numbers are not there. I’ve read some CBAs on wind and it was not there, primarily because wind only works in limited areas (plus it kills birds). Pure EVs don’t line up and without extreme economic distortion, they do not exist at all.

      “Jack is right; the way to reduce emissions is not to make big changes on small volume vehicles, it’s to reduce the consumption on the biggest volume segment of the market.”

      Here’s my thought on this, as a society energy use has increased since say 1977. In and of itself this may not be the most limiting factor, the real issue is this planet went from about 2 billion to 7 in a few decades largely through diseases eradication and efforts to reduce starvation. In hindsight, this was wrong as it interfered with nature and natural selection. I shouldn’t have to give up what I want because others enabled to creation of excess, this thinking is defeatist and weak. The only solution I can think of are some elements of degrowth or elements of degrowth and my own dystopic solution.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrowth

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I figure I can pollute all I want, since I am not having kids. My innate cheapskateness keeps that well in check. I just don’t have any need nor desire to pay for excess. I do have a 16mpg Land Rover, but I only drive it a few thousand miles a year at most.

        Ultimately, I think climate change is very real. I just don’t give a sh!t, I’ll be long dead before it matters much to me personally. My nephew or his heirs can enjoy my someday beachfront property in FL that is 20+ miles from the Gulf currently.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “Even if you believe that the temperature rise is true but not man made, why would you want to add to it when the scope of catastrophic weather events keeps increasing over time . . .”

      Why would you want to pollute and destroy the environment around you and burn through valuable finite resources as quickly as you can in the first place?

      If a person doesn’t care about these things or even the effect of unnecessary consumption on their own finances, how is anyone going to convince them that making a negligible difference to some uncertain distant climate scenario is worthy of sacrificing their comfortable lifestyle?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The fact that human activity can impact the climate is irrefutable.The London killer fogs. The smog that we used to see hanging over our cities in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Both gone with legislated changes in technology. Also radioactive clouds from nuclear experiments/accidents.

    The global climate is also changing. For example southern species encroaching into our northern hemisphere. And the speed at which it is changing has increased.

    Also the increase in severe weather events. More severe storms, floods, etc.

    Backed up not just by scientific studies but also by insurance company statistics.

    However the major polluters are now nations outside of North America and Western Europe and their short term economic gains depend on ‘old’ technology, so they will not change their ways in the short term.

    Solutions, sorry don’t have any.

    However based on gambling and game theory it is only logical to try to decrease our ‘environmental impact’. Why? Because if AGW is true and we do not then we doom our species. And if AGW is not true and we still adhere to ‘Goreism’, then at worst we have suffered some short term, reversible economic setbacks. And since we are in a golden era of automotive performance, then obviously these new legislated requirements are not ‘hurting’ the auto enthusiast.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “However based on gambling and game theory it is only logical to try to decrease our ‘environmental impact’.”

      Of course, but not with a blank check, or without a balanced approach. I’m all for transitioning to renewables as the economics make sense. I’m all for increasing fuel economy intelligently and sensibly. I am wary of solutions that are long on optics and short on results, and I am very wary of GW demigods who are very much “four legs good, two legs better” when it comes to the affected parties of these solutions. Al Gore barking at me for being a car enthusiast from the comfort of his giant mansion isn’t what we need here.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      > Solutions, sorry don’t have any.

      Simple. Do what we love. Sell stuff. Make green tech and sell it to the other nations. We have academic and development resources, they have people resources and aren’t as burdened by aging societies as the western nations are. This is what trade is supposed to do, take relative advantages and spread the benefits across trading partners.

      The other answer is to stop doing what we love to do: buy stuff. The market for cheap commoditized crap exits because western nations have too much disposable income. It’s already happening with cars… as less people drive and find alternatives, the cars that are sold are shifted towards a higher quality point.

      The third thing is to do what people hate: regulate. Global warming is a tragedy of the commons; it is classic market failure because its effects aren’t priced into the sale price of the car.

      In other words, the answer isn’t one big thing, it’s many things put together.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “However based on gambling and game theory it is only logical to try to decrease our ‘environmental impact’. Why? Because if AGW is true and we do not then we doom our species. And if AGW is not true and we still adhere to ‘Goreism’, then at worst we have suffered some short term, reversible economic setbacks.”

      No.

      At worst the Western countries cedes economic, political, and military leadership of the world to state actors that have their own opinions on everything from ivory-horn powder to female circumcision.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “At worst the Western countries cedes economic, political, and military leadership of the world to state actors that have their own opinions on everything from ivory-horn powder to female circumcision.”

        As opposed to ceding power to a bunch of self-serving old white guys like #45?

        And at one time it was those Godless Commies……….

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          Forced to choose, I’ll take the self-serving old white guys over the despots who claim to be working in the “interests of the people”.

          I don’t trust those who hide their goals and aims behind “the people” or “the climate”. There is always an ulterior motive that generally results in a loss of liberty in some catastrophic form.

          Frankly, it isn’t a binary choice as is being alluded to here. It’s not “gaia or Trump” it’s not “globalism or isolationism”, but I see this argument made in forums on a regular basis.

          Failure to accept Christ leads to damnation for eternity? I don’t accept that, but still consider myself a Catholic.

          The environment isn’t binary, and as such, our interaction with it need not be either.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        How do you think your fast car, and every other manifestation of high fossil fuel use, will defend us against Asian industry and Islamic radicalism? Unrestrained combustion of oil and coal doesn’t equate to a higher GDP or more Army divisions. The US isn’t on energy starvation rations, but we all could use a diet now and then.

      • 0 avatar
        Brett Woods

        “…is AGW is true…? It’s obviously just a theory…”

        A view commonly experienced when gazing absently into a toilet bowl. The self-loving, erudite man explains it thusly:

        “Due to the confined area and buildup of pressure, along with the influence of Martians and their fallible perceptions causing an improper application of Gay-Lussac’s law and an erroneous conclusion…. There is no proof it smells! Anyway, even if it did smell, it’s such a tiny smell.”

        “Mine smells pretty good. What about that pine-sol? Did you know there are more units of stink in pine-sol than in feces? You’re a weenie if you think pine-sol smells good.”

        It is easy to imagine that AGW is a subjective theory and that just like smell, it can be made more pleasant by eating (writing) more pudding. I have such a soft-spot for all of our beloved auto beasts. Still, I sympathize with Kurtz on his last night. Please Jack, don’t go all Gulf-of-Tonkin on us. Regular folks need you.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’m down with Goreism. Mansions and private jets for all!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Get people to switch from SUVs to cars that get 25% better MPG – they will just end up driving more because it is so cheap (aka rebound effects). Subsidize electric cars, most people end up buying one as a second or third car, which increases the growth rate in the size of the car park and negates any possible emission reduction. Increase the taxes on gasoline and diesel, just makes flying more financially attractive – and greenhouse gas emissions at 40,000 feet are much worse for the environment than driving. Ban cars from cities, people will just move to suburban McMansions in increasing numbers and lengthen their commute. Even if you believe all the hype about global warming there is nothing that can be done about it unless you can somehow take away people’s wealth so they can’t consume so much stuff. Of course if consumption is greatly reduced, no one will have jobs or incomes. Without incomes governments won’t generate any tax revenues to pay for various “investments” in green stuff and welfare. Without jobs or welfare, people will revolt and kill all the green politicians and academics – problem solved.

  • avatar
    Snavehtrebor

    The accused “witches” of Salem weren’t burned; they were hanged. So, very little impact on AGW, speaking of things that don’t exist.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Wanna bump car (as compared to cuv/truck) sales? Take away two doors and make them look more sporty, even if you don’t add all that much power to it. Don’t emphasize the mpg (a downer) but rather emphasize the fun factor. Do them all as 2+2.5 or use sedan-sized front doors and half-doors for rear access. The only CARS I’ve purchased in the last 25 years only had two doors and I don’t intend to buy any CAR that has more than two full doors. I know I’m not the only driver avoiding sedans, even when they’re called 4-door coupes.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “I know I’m not the only driver avoiding sedans, even when they’re called 4-door coupes.”

      You’re not the only one, but I bet all of you together couldn’t fill an NFL stadium.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      I believe Jack recently explained on these very pages why that ain’t happening any more, at least until they can 3D print you an entire car body at less cost than traditional manufacturing methods.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    During my 9th term as President of the United States, I will issue the following edicts to address this:

    – 2 stroke engines will be banned, and anyone at Evenrude involved in the etech engine line will lose their thumbs.

    – CUVs are banned. Want 7 seats but not a minivan? Choose from the following: Civic Wagon, CamCord Wagon, and a Buick Roadmaster estate. All will be available with limited slip diffs, and winter tires will be mandatory in all areas where more than 10 days a year are below freezing.

    – Pickup trucks shall all be white, either 2 or 4 door 8′ bed models. 2WD + locking diff only (see above) for anyone below the 45th parallel. All shall have vinyl seats, crank windows, manual door locks. Adding any surplus chrome or ‘infotainment’ (unless by tradesman who drives a truck for his/her daily job) shall be a capitol offense.

    – Diesel trucks are only available to those who demonstrate a need to tow more than 10,000 lbs more than 7,500 mi/year. Compliance will be verified.

    – For those Cadillac cowboys who ‘need’ a truck but are offended by cranking down their own window will have plenty of choice because Holden and Ford shall immediately restart Ute production, including of the Barra 4.0l turbo I-6 motor.

    Minivans, full size vans, and all traditional 2 and 4 door sedans may continue production as usual.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      ” 2 stroke engines will be banned, and anyone at Evenrude involved in the etech engine line will lose their thumbs.”

      Up yours buddy, I’ll lead a smoky demonstration down to the White House astride an assortment of 70s 2 stroke motorcycles, twins and triples doing barely controlled wheelies down the street :p

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        I spend my weekends with my son’s K80 Comer two-stroke.

        We are moving to the 206ci 4-stroke next year.

        Thank God. Two-strokes smoke, four-strokes choke, but two-strokes also require a rebuild every 4 hours for $600.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          I’m not looking forward to kids cart (if I can ever get this dang follow up lesson scheduled).

          I think karting – particularly for the younger kids – seems ripe for electrification without regard to any purported environmental benefits. It would simply be a big time save and let everyone focus on driving, in the same way throwing away my garbage 2-stroke weedeater for a battery powered one makes my life much better.

          E-tech 2-stroke engines are notoriously unreliable which is where the hate comes from. My parents’ neighbors don’t have a boat for labor day (first world problem, I know). community.evinrude.com/t5/Owner-s-Zone/MORE-E-TEC-ENGINE-PROBLEMS/td-p/12425/page/8

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          A few years ago before I relocated, I was in the middle of restoring a ’75 Suzuki T500 Titan, the first time someone successfully made an air cooled parallel twin 2 stroke of that displacement. They’re tuned really mellow, and were compared more to BMW R60 touring bikes than the rip-roaring wheelie popping Kawa triples of the era. Said Suzuki had close to 40k miles on it, the engines are known to easily last well beyond that without excessive wear or blow-by. A 70s Japanese 2 stroke street bike is still very much on my list of bikes to own.

          http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-japanese-motorcycles/suzuki-t500-titan

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “for anyone below the 45th parallel.”

      Great.

      I’m safe!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Thank you Mr. President.

  • avatar
    ummagumma

    somebody bring back the Toyota Matrix

    6 speed, manual, and add a turbo for more HP and better fuel/environment

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    In my daily life I burn a lot. I use expanding combustion gasses to do work for me. When I am done, I let the gas drift away into the sky. Sometimes I release more than 30L/second during my activities of daily living. In my city, the rush hour commute sends around 2000 000 000L to heaven daily. I have analyzed the composition of my expanded combustion gas.

    In this demonstration, the lamp represents the sun; the bottles represent the earth and atmosphere. The seltzer gas represents one of the products from my tail pipe. Today’s subject: Anthropogenic waste gas. https://youtu.be/kwtt51gvaJQ

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