Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Powerful Hybrids lose Environmental bennies

Souping up your gas-sipping hybrid makes it a benefit-sipping vehicle, and the NYT is not happy...

When the Honda Accord Hybrid hit the streets, we were elated — finally somebody had come up with a real-world application for hybrids that married performance and economy. Think of the hybrid Accord this way — it has the fuel economy of a large-ish four and makes more grunt than some recent 8s, using the hybrid system as a power-adder. Now the Times, flagship paper of a city of people whose knowledge of cars often doesn’t go beyond the back seat of Crown Victorias or Town Cars, starts hemming and hawing over the fact that some people out there would actually want hybrid performance cars. In essence, they’re comparing kumquats to watermelons. Where they should be comparing the Accord Hybrid to vehicles like the Dodge Charger and Pontiac Grand Prix, they’re instead trying to force it into an Insight metric, which, to quote the mighty Hüsker Dü, makes no sense at all.