Muscle CAFE: The End of Modern Muscle?

Source: - Frank Markus

With 35-mpg average economy mandated for 2020, is it "last-call" for today's overcaffeinated muscle machines?

We are witnessing the end of an era. Even as the new Challenger and Camaro prepare for launch, they'll take flight like the last of the dodos. These large, heavy, big-cube, high-horse musclecars as we know and lust after them are unlikely to be replaced by similar vehicles. That's because the life cycle of their replacements will extend to or beyond 2020, the year by which the Energy Bill of 2007 mandates that the overall fleet average fuel economy for cars and light trucks must tally 35 mpg. Tens of thousands of 15-mpg playthings just won't be part of that plan. Already we've seen GM cancel its replacement for the Northstar V-8 and Ford de-emphasizing V-8s in all its future product discussions. But will the party be over? Let's have a hard look at the legislation and its likely impact on one of our favorite market segments.

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