I'm the king of the road. I'm drivin' a gas guzzler and I'm lovin' it.
I hit the loud pedal, and 400 screaming horses respond instantly. My backside is wrapped in Corinthian leather, and my feet are resting on Wilton carpets. My kids are stretching their legs in the back, glued to matching DVD screens in the headrests. Get out of the way, because a road hog is comin' through.
Audi's opulent S8: flauntin' it with a V-10.
My test car is a ridiculously opulent $94,085 Jaguar XJ Super Sedan, and it gets just 15 miles per gallon on the highway. The XJ looks dated, because it is: the model was launched in 1968, and it has been business as usual ever since.
Survey the product lines of the world's automakers, then look up the fuel economy scores online. Even though the car companies talk green, they're still selling the same old stuff. Even the European ones. Audi, for instance, would be happy to let you drive off in a $93,000 S8 powered by a 450-horsepower V-10 motor and delivering just 13 mpg around town.
California wants automakers to produce more than 58,000 plug-in hybrids to ply state roads by a 2014 deadline. Sounds good, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, these cars will be a "rounding error" when set against the state's nearly 20 million cars and trucks. What's needed is a thorough greening of the auto fleet, and that's likely to happen only very slowly.
The Jaguar XJ Super Sedan: gas guzzling since 1968.
Sure, cars are 98 percent cleaner out of the tailpipe than they were in 1963, but they're still far too big and heavy. When carmakers complain about how hard it is to make their "current product lines" greener, it just shows how they're stuck in the overweight past. We need light and nimble, more Smarts, fewer Hummers.
*For this week only.
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