By on July 31, 2018

2017 Acura NSX, Image: Acura

Picture it. A new world government, headquartered in Belgium, has been elected to oversee our affairs. There, our scientific betters assemble to map out a progressive yet benevolently authoritarian plan for all the planet’s people, causing H.G. Wells and other dead utopians to rise from the grave in orgasmic bliss.

In this hypothetical scenario, consumer choice is curtailed to ensure the citizenry makes the proper decisions. The planet’s air quality and climate is top of mind, as are the globe’s shrinking resources. A conservation plan is put into effect, wiping such indulgent automobiles as the Dodge Challenger R/T, 392, Hellcat, and other V8-powered machines. The GM 6.2-liter V8 is ceremoniously killed off. Schoolchildren are taught to snitch on any parent caught harboring a overly powerful motorcar, perhaps in a rural barn somewhere.

Suffice it to say, it’s heaven on earth. There’s no choice to see it any other way. But hold on — it’s new car buying time, and the state, er, the world, has mandated that as your daily driver, you must purchase a hybrid.

Sure, there’s new sources of transportation available in this new society — trolleybuses make a comeback, as do monorails — but the single vehicle permitted for citizens living outside urban zones (or those with work that takes them into the countryside) must be at least partially green. And, because this bizarro world takes place in the present day, your vehicular choices are already on the market.

One daily driver. That’s all you get, and there must be an electric motor working in tandem with a gasoline powerplant. To whittle down the choices, a plug-in is not allowed. Why? Because the powers that be in Brussels, or perhaps Antwerp, have a damn good reason, that’s why. So no PHEVs. But no mild hybrids, either, so no eTorque Ram. Besides that stipulation, however, the field is open — any size or bodystyle you can get your hands on.

What do you choose? Practicality (such as it is), likely demands a utility vehicle, and with pickups out of the running, a spacious three-row crossover seems the likely choice for many. A Toyota Highlander Hybrid, for example. It’s surely a hybrid, but one which still has a V6 on tap. Remove the rearmost rows and you’ve got a flat surface for hauling, and power to back it up.

But maybe performance is your way of fighting back against the state. In this scenario, the Acura NSX actually might see a few orders.

Practical (but imperfect), or impractical? Take your pick.

[Image: Acura]

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42 Comments on “QOTD: One Green Steed to Do It All?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Instead of Brussels or Antwerp let’s inject a little non-fiction and just say Sacramento.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    They can pry my v8s from my cold dead hands.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Is that Nismo GTR hybrid in production yet?

  • avatar
    wooootles

    That’s a very oddly specific mandate. Are there other hybrids that aren’t PHEVs or mild hybrids and are worth a damn?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Illogical and inaccurate argument. Hybrid technology is the minimum requirement and to be quite blunt they will never be able to suppress individuality. And in many parts of the world, no family can get by with a single “daily driver”, especially if one family member’s place of employment is a significant distance away from work (let’s say 30 miles) and another’s is in the exact opposite direction at a similar distance. (I, myself, lived this lifestyle for several years, putting over 160,000 miles on a car in a mere four years.) Let’s also note that not everybody can use a sedan or CUV due to the need to carry cargo and materials on a regular basis and not everybody needs or wants a clumsy pickup truck or larger as a family hauler. Variety of types and styles is necessary. Mandating a single type is impractical, inefficient and will be opposed by groups of individuals, no matter the extent of the law.

    No, the idea of electric motors is a good one… but limiting it to having a gasoline engine supplying that power still tethers us to Big Oil when there are now multiple ways of powering those motors that don’t rely on BURNING anything!

  • avatar
    don1967

    Would you rather have rice cakes or tofu dogs for your last meal?

    Thankfully the New World Order which seeks to impose this sort of “choice” on civilization is crumbling as we speak.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    I know you’re trying to start a conversation by making an interesting argument but by leading off with “wiping such indulgent automobiles as the Dodge Challenger R/T, 392, Hellcat, and other V8-powered machines. The GM 6.2-liter V8 is ceremoniously killed off” you’re setting yourself up for getting arrested for inciting a riot.

    • 0 avatar
      wooootles

      ^Eh, I can see that in some weird dystopian future. But what I can’t see is that Teslas, performance PHEVs like 918/P1/i8, the likes of Panamera Hybrid (also PHEV) and decent city commuter cars like the Volt/Bolt/Leaf are also excluded from the choices.

      Really, we’re just left with what “Toyota/Honda hybrid do you like?”

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Naw – in such a scenario they would just have to bide their time. The trick is to slowly implement change and condition people so it seems natural. The boneheads demand and seek instant change which inevitably leads to conflict.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    Why would there not be pickups just because there isn’t one that fits these requirements today? A hypothetical of “if this legislative requirement happened, what vehicle that currently exists would you pick, and nothing that currently exists can be changed to meet that requirement” is kind of weird.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      There are Hybrid pickups out there GM has done two different generations though neither was widely available.

      The F-150 Hybrid is on its way and Ford has indicated that it won’t be limited production.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The old Ford and GM mild hybrids on their pickups were insufficient for the task, although a good idea overall. It’s not that it couldn’t have worked but rather that they chose not to use a powerful-enough battery and motor to perform the job. I don’t think FCA’s ‘mild hybrid’, despite its 48-Volt starter/generator/motor is going to be that much better since stop/start even now only improved mileage by about 5% if that much.

        Providing a 10-20kWh battery to give decent boost to get rolling at speed would alleviate most of the trucks’ in-town mileage woes and maybe even let these smaller turbo engines realize better economy on the highway. Raise that to 40kWh and most one-ton pickups could probably still get good highway mileage up Davis Dam or across the Rockies on I-70, approaching the Eisenhower Tunnel. They’d probably realize a 50% economy boost in both environments.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Ford has not offered a factory hybrid truck of any kind…yet, nor any “mild” hybrids in the US.

          The GM trucks were/are not “mild” Hybrids. The original “2-Mode” system developed in partnership with Daimler-Chrysler, and BMW used a 300v decently sized 300v battery in the GM applications and was a fully integrated transmission style unit. The problem mainly was the Germans that their need for complexity, giving it up to 4 forward gear ratios which made it expensive, huge and heavy. It did however manage an up to 6200lb tow rating. Pretty go for when it was introduced.

          The current GM Hybrid pickups are “mild” hybrids of the Belt Assist System similar to what FCA is supposed to be selling. The problem with the GM trucks is they are only offered for sale in CA, are only limited 2wd configurations and in very limited numbers, the number I heard was 700 for 2017.

          The coming F150 is going to be full Hybrid and supposedly will at least match current base tow ratings.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I will accept that Ford hasn’t, but GM did, in the form of a small electric motor on the driveshaft. As such, it WAS a “mild hybrid” that only achieved about a 1mpg gain over their non-hybrid version. That was roughly 15 years ago or so.

            My point is that the stop/start system is senseless in so many ways. An engine at idle is already using minimum fuel while the hybrid power is needed during acceleration; we shouldn’t be wasting that battery to re-start the engine after every stoplight/sign. A pure battery system or a proper plug-in hybrid system would be notably more efficient and far more effective.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yes GM did a very brief E-Assist system about 20 years ago but that was very very limited production. The one that followed the 2-Mode did last for about 5 years and wasn’t specifically limited to CA or a very very small number of vehicles. It was mainly the wrong system (much more expensive to build) so it didn’t gain a lot of traction despite a 50% increase in city MPG and a healthy, for the time, payload and towing capacity.

            Yes in a well designed Hybrid the start stop is where a lot of the gains are made. Unlike conventional ICE powered cars with start stop systems it doesn’t just stop the engine when sitting at a stop light. The Best systems like Ford’s current version can shut off the engine at speeds up to 85mph. So in the normal day to day mixed driving my wife and I do in our Hybrids the post trip read out will indicate that in some cases the car traveled as many miles with the engine off as it did with the engine on.

            The energy required to start the engine is very very small for a very short time. In mine the consumption is about 0.0027499999989 kWh or ~12a from a 275v battery for 3 seconds. That is the equivalent of the energy contained in .00008389261 gallons of gas. Of course you can’t actually use all of that power for work as most is waste heat. So do the math and it comes down to a restart using about the amount of energy an engine could extract from .03221476508l ounces of gas or less than 1/4 teaspoon.

            If the engine is only off for a second or two maybe leaving it running is better but when you shut the engine off well before you come to a start, like happens in a good hybrid, the savings really add up.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    You guys have some excellent ideas on this blog.
    – Democrat Party

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Alex, I’ll take clickbait for 500!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      This QOTD reads like it came out of a online generator that was programmed by Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.

      “Hellllllllllloooooooooooo, NURSE!”

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      I mean, clickbait doesn’t even describe this pointless QOTD. It’s pretty telling that this far down into the comments there really aren’t any actual answers to the question, just trolling. Very disappointing.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    When this progressive utopia does arrive, I wonder how Whole Foods will gets its deliveries of $17/lb non-GMO, organic, gluten free arugula to the stores. I’m no expert in transportation logistics, but I’d have to assume it’s hard to do that with an electric sub-compact. And I also wonder how farmers who produce said non-GMO, gluten free, organic arugula will be able to operate a farm without the use of evil gas burning pickups, tractors, combines. Again I’m no expert in the field of farming, but I suspect it’s going to be really tough to work a farm/ranch with an electric sub-compact and no other modes of transport.

    Going to be fun watching plumbers, electricians, construction workers, etc operate using a Nissan Versa. And I guess there goes the entire RV industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with it. No more boats either, unless someone has come up with a way to tow a 5k lb boat using a Versa.

    This ban on all things bigger than a Versa will also essentially be a ban on having more than 2 kids per family.

    And might as well start closing up every Home Depot and Lowe’s in the land since. Which is part of the plan I guess, move everyone out of SFRs and into Soviet style apartment blocks. For the environment, and the children!! Never forget about the children!! (which we won’t have many of so there will be fewer of them to remember).

    Good times ahead everybody!!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “without the use of evil gas burning pickups, tractors, combines”

      We’ve been doing pretty well without gas-burning tractors and combines for over 40 years now. And electric/diesel-electric hybrids have been under development for almost as long (though granted, range would be the biggest issue).

      You got one thing right: You’re no expert in the field of farming.

      • 0 avatar

        I believe the point was more “fuel” burning as opposed to non-fuel burning in ILS’s post. No one in my area uses an electric tractor or combine that I am aware of. (I know, that means nothing.) For what those implements cost currently I can imagine an electric only version would be magnitudes more costly making their use/ownership prohibitive. Yeah, maybe the question is silly, but if this path was chosen/mandated there would be serious repercussions that would cripple the world’s food production abilities economically.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Someone has been into the shrooms and listening to Rush’s Red Barchetta.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      I know right!! It’s crazy to think that cars will ever be banned. That’s like Alex Jones stuff man!!

      https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-going-car-free-ban-2017-8

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        Fighting clickbait with clickbait. That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

        • 0 avatar
          I_like_stuff

          So now we’re calling things we disagree with, but accurate, clickbait. Got it. It’s hard to keep up with all the new rules online.

          • 0 avatar
            srh

            Here’s a simple rule: If the url contains “businessinsider”, it’s clickbait.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Not quite. We’re calling things that have clickbait headlines clickbait. Regardless of the content of the article, if the headline has to be sensationalized to get you to read it, it wasn’t worth reading in the first place.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The future will be a William Gibson type of sprawl with reigonal population centers connected by Elon’s Hyperloop. Have fun.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Does the Q50 Hybrid qualify? 350 hp / 390 tq or similar, IIRC.. At least have a little fun, now and again..

    Edit: or maybe that Accord Hybrid (or was it Acura?) from a few years ago, where it was the fastest Accord available?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I haven’t bought a non-Hybrid daily driver in several years, and have no intention of ever going back to ICE only daily drivers. So I’m all set already with a C-Max Hybrid and MKZ Hybrid.

    Overall the premise is very silly as others have mentioned. Why would this mandate also included that each person could only have one vehicle? If anything there should be a mandate that people who need a truck for whatever purpose must only use it for that purpose and thus be required to purchase a CAR for their other needs. Personally I’ve been doing that for decades, having trucks and vans for hauling when hauling needs to be done and a car for other uses.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Weird QOTD. I imagine in this scenario the auto industry would provide many more choices than are available today. No PHEV eliminates my choice of what is currently available (BMW 330e iPerformance).

    I am OK to go all the way though. Give me a full on EV that can rip to 60 in the 5s and the quarter in the mid 14s with enough range to get me to work for 2 days with contingency (~200 miles) and GOOD LOOKS (sorry Bolt). Then make nice PHEV midsize crossover for my wife (so in no way in hell would the Outlander work). Something like a Murano or X3 would do it. For now at least I’ve had my fill of ICE cars on the road. Knowing I’m throwing away megajoules of recoverable energy in stop and go traffic kills. I recently bought my first automatic car and enjoyed it. Next go will probably be my first electrified car.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Can I just get the hottest Tesla for sale? I don’t need gas, just powwwaahhhhh

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I think that an F350 crew 4×4 diesel with PTO would qualify. Just connect a generator to the PTO drive.

  • avatar

    Abolish ICE! And free healthcare and EVs for all!

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    You mean like, I can’t have a V 8/10/12, make screeching burnouts, annoy the neighbors, and stink up the commons?
    That’s like a total bummer dude!

  • avatar

    For more enjoyment and greater efficiency, consumption is being standardized. -THX1138

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