to Build a 70 mpg Car

By dancurranjr On February 22nd, 2009

top-gear-garageThe new Honda Insight hybrid is expected to get 43 mpg on the highway. A Toyota Prius or Volkswagen Jetta TDI will get you roughly the same. Look beyond that one number, though, and the three cars share a common thread: They all have spectacularly low lifetime CO2 output, because each and every one will bore you to death before you get a chance to refill the tank. Each of these greenies will do 0-60 in about a week, they’re all styled like lumps of cold mashed potatoes and every last one handles like a couch. If this is what it takes to save the world, maybe the world isn’t worth saving.

No, if we’re going to stop the terrorists, rebuild the polar bears’ igloos and somehow turn on the global air conditioner, we’re going to need much more impressive mileage and, more important, something that’s actually worth driving. You can’t honestly expect us to give up driving fun just for a silly little planet, can you?

So if 45 mpg doesn’t change the equation, how about 70? Suck on that for a second. Forty-five is probably a lot better than whatever you’re driving, but it’s still within the realm of the imaginable. But 70? It’s absurd. Perfect, then.

On top of unlikely mileage, we need it from something with a little soul. We don’t need supercar performance, but we should at least be able to outrun a minivan. Naught to 60 in 7 seconds is about as slow as we can stand before our minds wander. Come to think of it, breaking the 7-second barrier will also roast a Ferrari 308, which will help keep that Magnum P.I. fantasy alive.

And then there’s the price. If trees and puppies and little green frogs make your heart go pitter-patter, the Insight’s $20,000 price tag is downright reasonable. Lovers of the other kind of green will always do the math, though, and inevitably determine that it will take 18 years of fuel savings to pay off their investment, so they might as well keep driving that Hummer. Price, then, is key if we really want to save the world.

For absolutely no other reason than the fact that a good theme seems to be developing entirely on its own, $7,000 seems like the kind of irresistibly low price that would make even Arnold give up his monster truck.

So there it is, the top 10 cars that get 70 mpg, do 0-60 in less than 7 seconds and cost $7,000 (and have sexy Italian styling):


No? Well, then, it’s official. America has a new project.

Read the Rest of the Story at: Top Gear

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