Cheap Thrills


Call me old school but all this electric, hybrid and alt fuels business gives me a headache. If you want to go green and sacrifice your driving please (or just plain don’t care) be my guest but the chances are you aren’t reading my blog anyway. Those who wish to go green are welcome and I support any alt-fuel that will leave the high octane fun to people who actually want it. Hell, I pay $15/gallon for race gas so obviously I’m not concerned with the cost. But I’m concerned that the public and the media focus way too much on “going green” and this has falsely pressured automakers into believing that is the way to go.




Sure my car runs on nothing less than 94 octane but those numbers are achieved on corn juice, so does that make me green? Ya, I guess a bit but I also am responsible enough to run a clean tune, a high-flow cat and drive fairly normally (most of the time). But it seems that anything fun on four wheels is always under constant threat of being cut or eliminated from the lineup. While individual models being phased out might not seem significant, every time a hot platform dies, part of the game we live for dies with it.




Case in point, Mitsubishi talking about the future of the Evo X. The rumors first claimed that the Evo franchise was dead but they have since back-pedaled. They now claim they are examining its future based on market demands. Well, if the tree-huggers and mass media have their way, that will surely spell the end of the Evo. Yet another chapter in exhilarating Japanese cars either disappearing or completely being castrated like the Eclipse.




The first wave of Japanese supercars almost disappeared for good but it is widely believed their popularity in the virtual world brought them back. Back in the late eighties and early nineties, many explosive new platforms stormed the market, the Z32 300ZX, the FD RX-7, the S13 240SX, the MkIV Supra, the Eclipse/ Talon, the 3000GT (Stealth) and of course the legendary NSX. Sadly, by the end of the decade they were all but gone. Sure the NSX survived but it sold so poorly and received nearly zero revisions, it might as well have disappeared. The fate of first round was certainly a technical knock-out that kept Japan face-down on the mat for several years.




While the first wave might have been fizzled out for lack of brand awareness and resulting sales, the second wave heated up with the introduction of the WRX and the Evo and 350Z with strong response. We’ve enjoyed some great revisions to these cars over the decade and the return of the GT-R, well introduction of sorts. Although it was a slow start, the 2000’s were exciting times for great sports cars, sport sedans and horsepower wars from manufacturers around the world. But what is going on now? Are things being upset again for concerns over middle-eat conflicts, CO2 emissions and soaring gas prices?



Yep, the automotive world is unsettled again and were in for dramatic changes over the next five years. It’s no mystery that Honda’s CR-Z has created a class of Sport Hybrids and that Acura no longer offers sports cars for a reason. Now with the Evo news, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was cut from the lineup or completely reinvented with a green-twist. After all, green cars are becoming fashionable thanks to SoCal, where rockin’ a Prius is socially acceptable and actually gets ladies.



I fully understand the dilemma the planet is in and I’ll participate in the push to go green only to a point. But the same people that are moaning about inefficient cars had better clean up their own backyard. What do I mean by that? Yeah sure you got your Hybrid but tell me about how you have reduced your consumption of junk made overseas, eliminated plastics, have an energy efficient home with geothermal and solar power, oh they better be wearing all natural fibers too. None of that stuff consumes oil and increases your carbon footprint because it doesn’t go vroom, vroom, right?

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