Plenty of fuel for thought
EVERYONE is thinking more about fuel. The number of emails and calls about LPG conversions, diesel choices and downsizing has skyrocketed in recent weeks.
Carmakers are also spending more time talking about leaner and greener additions to their showroom line-ups.
In the past week alone we have driven a new diesel Saab and heard about a Porsche 911 with the fuel economy of a Toyota Camry.
We have also driven a Toyota Prius that has clocked 100,000km, showing the car’s batteries can last the life of the vehicle.
The Prius also drove almost as tight as new and during a run in and around Sydney averaged an impressive 5.4 litres/100km.
But all the talk and worry about fuel and CO2 does not mean the end of performance cars.
BMW has just uncorked an M3 with a manumatic gearbox which, as does the 911, promises more go from less fuel, and the boss of Holden Special Vehicles says his company is still banking on V8s for the foreseeable future.
Tom Walkinshaw was talking as he revealed details of the hottest Holden yet, the HSV 427 with a 7-litre V8 engine.
‘‘I don’t see there is any reason we should not stop making big cars or cars that are enjoyable to drive. If you take this to the extreme we’d all be driving golf karts and I don’t think you’d want that,’’ Walkinshaw says.
‘‘I feel quite strongly there are pressures on everyone at present with the cost of living and environmental concerns and so forth. But where do you stop? Is everyone going to knock down their house? You all have to live in little boxes. Where do you stop? Because once you start on that and begin asking what is the carbon footprint of everything, you just take everything to silly extremes.
‘‘Obviously we have to be responsible and work on it, but you cannot fix the problems of the world just by looking at the motor car alone.’’
Economical: a Toyota Prius driven in and around Sydney averaged an impressive 5.4 litres for 100km.