I was at my dentists and there was this car magazine – with a luscious picture of a car. A bit like the image below. My hand reaches out, I pick up the magazine and brush my hand across my lips to check if the drool was escaping out. I was looking at a 7 litre hot muscle car. And I was reading this beautiful prose. To quote:
All this engineering work (and not to forget design, right down to the
standard red leather seats), is dominated by one thing when you get
behind the wheel: that engine. Final outputs are quoted at 375kW
(503hp) at 7000rpm, and surprisingly that rev figure is also the
electronic cut-out. Maximum torque is 640Nm at a high 5000rpm, and
although 80 percent of peak torque (513Nm) is available from 1500rpm,
it does give some clue to the LS7’s character. For such a big capacity
engine, it loves to rev.
Almost unbelievably, it keeps on producing oceans of horsepower as it
scales the tachometer. Where the LS3 (and the LS2 before it) are
running well out of puff by the 6000rpm mark, the W427 is finding extra
lung capacity and surging hard towards the next upshift with a gruff
yet voluble exhaust bellow that would do Garth Tander’s race mount
proud. Exiting Lang Lang’s high-speed series of esses onto the ride and
handling circuit’s back straight (on my way to that slippery,
high-speed left hander) I see 180km/h before popping fourth and dabbing
the brakes. Few cars can gather speed like that.
There is more – just feast on the images and scroll down.
But really, it’s difficult not to prod the W427 into its dominant
personality trait, which is all Mr Hyde. If guts and thunder are what
you’re after then nothing comes close to the sheer performance spread,
noise and attitude, all arriving with four-door liveability. The danger
is that, with prices of old Aussie muscle cars currently through the
roof, collectors will buy this car and store it. Drivers, though, will
go out and have the time of their lives.
Wheels – HSV W427: Believe the hype. With the balance to back up the numbers, HSV has just created Australia’s first supercar.
Now pause and lets look at Ryan’s car – a design of a HSV. Pretty neat?
(to see more images go to his blog here)
The question then is – is a muscle car eco-friendly?
The editorial in the Wheels Magazine (aug 08 issue?) addressed this. You could see the editor was smarting from some off the cuff remark someone had made about the HSV and gas guzzling in these days of high petrol prices (prices have slumped since augustwhen it was 150c to 99C on tuesday last). He said – hey only 427 of these will be made (the news this week is that only 200 will be made) – and they will all be garaged except for weekends. Each will be priced at 155, 500 AUD. And this should go up to 500,000 in 5 years. Reading all this I asked myself – is this a car at all?
No actually – I didn’t ask that question. What I said was – Right! Thats it! Big fat cars – that are made for pure fun are the way to go. They take a lot of money to develop – and apart from employing a lot of people ( and giving them all salaries which they go and spend on thing which result in ‘consumption’ and in green house gases and global warming up the supply chain) they do very little harm. For all that effort goes into the lab, sells a couple of thousand Wheels magazines (which have a pip squeak of an impact) and generally results in a lot of money changing hands – for very little material transaction; just 200 cars. How eco-effecient is that.
So as cars go muscle cars are it. The Prius on the other hand is a dirty polluter – for lots are made and they have nasty batteries in them. Better to use PT (public transport) and SHARE CARS.
So there – a lesson in sustainablity.
(this is for all of you who worked with me on the ‘car sharing’ project last year – and went away unconvinced that muscle cars were the solution to all our sustainability issues with regards to mobility)
This is also a thank you to Monique and Kevin. Have a good year.