As was reported earlier today, gas prices in the United States hit a record. We were going to ask you how much you paid for gas today ($3.69 per over here) but with the exception of the five people that live in Northern California, it is too depressing to hear the rest of you moaning about $3.12 per gallon. because to us out here in LA-LA that stings of the good old days. Anyhow, summer is not even here yet. $5.00 a gallon is nigh. And just like the stock market, gas prices go up, they go down, but they always go up. With that in mind, and literally more than you can afford gasoline right around the corner, what do you want to be driving in five-years time? Me? Well, this weekend I had the opportunity to peddle around a quadracycle. The cast-iron steering wheel featured less than half-a-turn to lock reflexes. That, combined with the severe rear-weight bias (two fat guys, two kegs of beer) gave the lime-green tube-framed beauty 911-like handling qualities. The dual 3-speed transmissions (one for each rider) could use a few more gears, but the forward visibility is epic.
This makes me sad. I know that soon, if environmental and political consciousness doesn't force us out of today's incredibly powerful cars*, the price of gas will. But cars can still be fun. One of the best cars I've ever owned (in terms of hpg, or hoonage per gallon) was a simple 1.8L Miata. Ideally, I think the car that the discerning, working class hoon enjoys in the future will be something like that—small, sparse in features, and light, so that it can be quick and handle well on not a lot of fuel. Ideally, in twenty years, maybe something like a more practical Ariel Atom (i.e. at least with a roof and windows).
*Seriously. If you compare SAE Net to SAE Net, cars like the GT500, Z06, and SRT-8/10 cars are more powerful than the 60's muscle that inspired them. And like their predecessors, I fear that legislative and market forces will lead their extinction.
Sure, in five years I'd like to be splitting time between an 850Csi, an old big block Charger, and a 928, but none of those cars even gets 15 mpg. In all likelihood, it will need to be something getting twice that. So maybe a Miata and (assuming I ever settle down and get a wife and chilluns) a small four cylinder sedan that's enjoyable to drive (the return of the 318i would make my pants tight).