If you’ve ever wondered what’s wrong with this country (or just right about it), read that headline again.
Gas prices are around $4 per gallon. Diesels consistently return better miles per gallon than gas engines. Five-hundred-horsepower cars not only get poor mileage but drink gas like runner girls down water.
Gas prices are a hot topic in politics, because the public is outraged by hundred-dollar fill-ups. And yet there are 70 500-plus-horsepower cars available in the U.S., compared with just 17 diesels. Gas prices shouldn’t be what outrages us. Our buying habits should.
Just 10 years ago, buyers who required 500 horses were limited to the showrooms of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Thanks to technology and an insatiable demand for power and speed, 18 automakers now offer over 70 models that come straight from the factory as members of the 500 club.
While it’s true that today’s ultra-powerful cars use smaller, more fuel-efficient engines than a decade ago, a car with 500 ponies still is no friend of the polar bears. Most of the big-power vehicles come from European brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi. General Motors and Ford have also gotten into the game, Chrysler will do the same with the company’s soon-to-be-unveiled SRT Viper (teaser shot above), and I’d wager that the Grand Cherokee SRT8 will hit the magic number soon.
There are so many 500-hp vehicles, in fact, that 600 hp has become the new benchmark.
This is proof enough for me that people in the U.S. really don’t care about gas prices, we just like to whine about them. As long as we have the biggest, fastest, most powerful engine, we will pay whatever it takes to keep the tires smoking.
Should there be more diesel vehicles offered in the U.S. than 500-hp ones?