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Miles per gallon is taking over from horsepower

It used to be that the horsepower was the supreme bragging right of most car owners, with torque becoming more relevant during the 1980s. however the amount of horses under the hood was meant to set the cars apart from each other, however emission standards and a fuel crisis every decade or so meant that the capabilities of the old muscle cars became increasingly unwieldy when compared to the new spec that started to gain traction: miles per gallon.

This isn’t as much a real problem in Europe, where there isn’t the same type of muscle car culture that developed in the United States, but for the Americans with their Dodge Chargers, Mustangs and so on, steadily increasing prices for gas as well as the more stringent emission standards are starting to lift the miles per gallon stat to the number one spot of interest for buyers.

Actually a recent survey showed that thirty-seven percent of car buyers consider mpg to be the main factor behind their decision, with the second highest percentage choosing build quality, with only seventeen percent of those asked, those are some damning numbers.

Europe does have some major muscle car carmakers, but even Lamborghini has introduced a start-stop feature on their 2013 Aventador, Ferrari and Porsche are getting into the hybrid market, and there’s a new electric-powered sedan capable of getting to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, while getting the equivalent of 90 mpg. So the supercar market is changing in order to survive, so sports cars will have to follow suit or simply die off.

We’ve also mentioned on this blog how turbocharged V-6s are taking over the likes of Mustang and Camaro, and this is a clear sign that everyone is shifting their focus towards fuel efficiency. And this will ultimately push the sticker price up and might actually lead to people bragging about how efficient their car is, as opposed to how much horsepower it has.

Prices to get pushed up by more stringent fuel economy regulations, as evidenced in the simple difference between the cost of a Nissan 370Z in the US, which costs around $33,000 and gets twenty-six miles per gallon on the highway, and the UK version of the same car which gets thirty-six miles to the gallon but it costs the equivalent of about $48,000, for a base model.

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