Will Sports Cars Die?… continued

I recently spent three wonderful weeks driving 4,500 miles around the western United States.  My faithful steed was a front wheel drive Honda Accord with a 2.2 liter, 4 cylinder engine making 130 horsepower (not a dissimilar configuration to the original car of the future, the Citroen DS), and I averaged 34 mpg for the entire trip.  Mind you, my right foot is an exotic alloy of lead, tungsten, and depleted uranium, so those mpg’s were acquired at average cruising speeds well above 80 mph.

Funny thing was, I saw only a few other sedans on the road.  Everyone else was driving RV’s, SUV’s, or monster pickup trucks with stonkin’ 10-cylinder diesel motors.  These wavering hulks scared the bejeezus out of me on the highway, and the hum of their knobby tires on the highway kept me awake at night in my tent.  I saw one mow down some deer without stopping. Three tons of steel to transport a few hundred pounds of human DNA?  How stupid and silly: this trip convinced me in a fundamental way that our current automotive trajectory isn’t sustainable.  We need to radically change our conception of what a car/truck/RV should be and do.

So, the interesting question isn’t “will there be sports cars?”, but rather “what will cars be, and what will a sports car be in that context?”.  Along those lines, here’s a thought from an AutoWeek profile of Leonardo Fioravanti, father of tasty sports machines such as the Ferrari P6 (!!) and Ferrari Daytona (!!!!):

"My expectations for the future are that a large part of the cars cannot be polluting. In my mind, we will have to put beside this kind of vehicle a number of sporty and exciting ones."

Fioravanti designed many of the most exquisite expressions of internal combustion.  He’s Mr. Red, Loud and Fast.  But now he’s saying we need silent cars, cars that take care of us, cars that let us sleep well at night, literally and figuratively.  Think about it – I certainly will.

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