Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Automotif CII...

I saw it when I pulled into the McDonald's parking lot in Speedway to grab a drive-thru cheeseburger before going to the range...

 It was the first one I'd seen in the wild, and pictures just really didn't do it justice.

When I was in high school in the early '80s, just becoming aware of cars, it was still the Automotive Dark Ages. Like 6th Century Britons, we lived among the ruins of a vanished performance car culture.

If you came to Study Hall in 1983 and told us that the latest model 2-seat performance car from BMW in 2015 would have a 1,499cc three-cylinder diesel*, we would have nodded sagely. Of course it would. BMW was never the same after they axed the M1. The future was all taxicabs. Times for automotive performance were dark and only getting darker...
...but if you told us that the three-cylinder diesel motor was a turbocharged diesel motor that cranked out more horsepower than Magnum P.I.'s Ferrari 308, and that the diesel gasoline engine was coupled to an inline electric motor, so that their combined output was more than a Lamborghini Countach, and you further claimed that this fancy diesel-electric golf cart could crack the 4.5-second barrier in the 0-60 sprint and run all the way to a buck-sixty on the top end, we'd have looked at you like you were from Mars.

*Thanks to a reader, it has been brought to my attention that the IC half of the driveline is a gasoline motor. I have no earthly idea how it got into my head that it was a diesel.

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