Are We Entering A New Malaise Era?

Would you believe it? Malaise is the Merriam-Webster Word Of The Day. That's sort of appropriate given that GM is shuttering plants, gas prices are on the rise and confidence in our government is lower than Ford's earning expectations. The lexicographers define malaise as "an indefinite feeling of debility or lack of health often indicative of the onset of an illness," but we all associate it with the Malaise Era, when cars became less powerful and less attractive.

Given all that's happening, are we entering a new Malaise Era? Ford is planning to downsize its engines and replace them with EcoBoost technology. Is this the beginning of the end of the horsepower wars? Will fast cars only be for the wealthy? Is the new Mustang going to be the Mustang II? Someone talk us down.