What Will Replace Our Second Generation Of Dinosaurs? The Next American Hot Rod.
'The 300C SRT8 and the Magnum SRT8 have few shortcomings. One being
both cars are a bit thirsty, with EPA fuel economy ratings of 14 m.p.g.
city and 20 m.p.g. highway.'
A few years ago I would never have believed it. Gas was cheap and
horsepower was continuing to rise. Unfortunately, so were curb
weights. As well as manufactures have been able to squeeze more
efficiency out of modern engines, the added size and heft of vehicles
has largely nullified gains in miles per gallon. And with the world's
demand for oil, driven largely by the growing economies of developing
nations, and America's insatiable appetite for fuel, the price of oil
is unlikely to go anywhere but up.
So what's a car enthusiast to do? As much as I like big horsepower
numbers, I think the next generation of hot rod is going to have to do
more with less. Here's what I envision. Hot rods that are a cross
between a race car and a motorcycle. Picture this:
The next America hot rod.
- A jet canopy style body. Driver in front, passenger directly behind
- An even larger use of plastics/composites
- Rear engine/rear drive with traction/stability control
- Very aerodynamic
- Extremely light weight... every feature and option evaluated for
- Small, normally aspirated engine -- to keep weight, complexity,
engine compartment size, and cost down -- with cylinder deactivation
and direct cylinder injection
- Only 5/6/7-speed auto/manual transmissions
I think vehicles like this could be made inexpensively. And I think
the demand would be there. Don't believe me? On your next drive,
check out how many vehicles contain only one or two occupants. Me...
I'd bet and say the number containing less than three people is about
80%. Plus familes aren't getting any larger. Also I think our future
hot rods will increasing become second or "weekend" rides.
Got feed back...? Am I a crazy on some whacked-out rant? Let me know.