Many of us green-minded car nuts have at one point or another suffered from the worst of all diametrical battles within - high performance v. high mileage. I'll be the first to admit that some years ago I owned a '69 Alfa Romeo GTV. The engine displaced just under 1.8 liters, but with high-performance camshafts and a stripped-out fuel injection system replaced by two 45mm Weber side-draft carburetors, mileage wasn't exactly an underlying (or even peripheral) theme. Now that I'm older and wiser, the car is gone and I've actually been able to manage a relatively small carbon footprint, but it's always interesting to hear the stories of others and their respective transitions from guzzler to green.
Alex Williams has a particularly interesting story which was printed in Wednesday's New York Times. He describes himself as a "pale green" environmentalist who's concerned about global warming, air pollution and oil dependency, though, he still loves muscle cars. In an effort to start his self re-education, he took a Prius out for a test drive. I won't synopsize the whole story as you should read it yourself, but there's one humorous bit I'll give up before you click the link.
He describes a recent hybrid convert from California who owns both a Prius and a 7.0-liter Corvette Z06. The gentleman says that driving the Prius is like a competition, although one in which you try to achieve the best possible gas mileage. "You're trying to stay above the 50 mile-per-gallon level, and it's usually just out of reach - Okay, the light is turning yellow up there, turn, better ease off the gas and let the brakes regenerate... It's so fun to watch it, and see if you can maximize."
If you feel those pangs of remorse when polishing your 'Stang or the pangs of desire when you see someone else's, take a look at the article and sympathize with Alex.
[Source: New York Times]