Can We Have Our High Horsepower Cake And Eat It Too?

As automakers stare down higher CAFE standards, high fuel costs and consumers demanding more fuel efficient vehicles, we wonder if they're going to reverse the trend towards increasing horsepower (because we doubt most are going to reverse the trend towards increasing weight). It makes us wonder whether there's a way for us to have our high horsepower cake and eat it too? Vehicles like the 2010 Chevy Camaro feature cylinder deactivation to lower consumption when power isn't needed. Ford is banking on EcoBoosting their engines to achieve similar power with smaller displacement and the luxury automakers are mating larger engines to electric motors, like the Infiniti G35 hybrid. All this is great, but to what end? Cylinder deactivation, as a technology, is fairly unobtrusive, but a hybrid system hasn't yet been introduced that has quite the same feel we're looking for in a performance vehicle. Electrics could be nice — as the Tesla may prove. EcoBoost basically consists of turbocharging and direct-injection, something other automakers have been doing for a while, but is it going to yield the mileage the market wants? Can we have the power, the performance and the fuel-economy without making sacrifices? What say you?


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