Green Standards and the Death of the Modern Muscle Car?
Although to most classic car enthusiasts they will never compare with the originals, modern muscle cars, which are inspired by the originals, of course, have much to recommend them. The Shelby Mustang 1000, the Mustang GT500, the Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, Dodge’s Challenger R/T, and the Chevy Camaro ZL1, all harken back to the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when American muscle was at its peak. They have retro styling along with modern touches, and big, powerful engines.
The style and design of these cars are important to their appeal, but they would be nothing without those horsepower-churning, V8 engines. Unfortunately, the combination may become a thing of the past when new fuel efficiency standards come into effect. According to the most recently released federal CAFE standards, fleet-wide fuel economy standards must reach 34.1 miles per gallon for 2016. The figure is to be an average between passenger cars and light trucks, which means that cars will need to get higher numbers than 34.1.
It would seem that there will be no room for the high-performance, heavy and fast muscle cars from American automakers in the near future. To meet the new standards, the Big Three will have to kill these cars. Or, maybe not. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, experts in the car industry are coming up with ways to keep these popular modern muscle cars on the road, while still meeting the CAFE standard.
Researchers are working on creating cars that run on both gasoline and compressed natural gas. This bi-fuel system can create just as much horsepower as a traditional engine, say the experts, with much fewer emissions out the tailpipe. Just how these updated muscle cars will work in reality remains to be seen, but the car companies are hopeful and are promising to keep what we love about their cars while still meeting fuel efficiency standards.