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Diversity Is Celebrated

Summary:
The Celebration of Diversity is a non-stop party, except when it comes to cars – which wax homogenous with each passing year. Bars of soap with different grilles, in different sizes and colors but as uniformly the same as the cheering masses at a Nuremburg partei rally. This extends even to what’s under the hood. It’s is a function of the regulatory template imposed by Washington, which designs cars nowadays. Not officially, but might as well be. For instance: There is a reason every new car has a rear end that looks like the mighty cheeks of a Budweiser Clydesdale  . . . or a person of Wal Mart. It is so because of the unanticipated side-effect of the original round of federal fuel efficiency (CAFE) mandates, which incited the entirely artificial SUV boom

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The Celebration of Diversity is a non-stop party, except when it comes to cars – which wax homogenous with each passing year. Bars of soap with different grilles, in different sizes and colors but as uniformly the same as the cheering masses at a Nuremburg partei rally.

This extends even to what’s under the hood.

It’s is a function of the regulatory template imposed by Washington, which designs cars nowadays. Not officially, but might as well be. For instance:

There is a reason every new car has a rear end that looks like the mighty cheeks of a Budweiser Clydesdale  . . . or a person of Wal Mart.

It is so because of the unanticipated side-effect of the original round of federal fuel efficiency (CAFE) mandates, which incited the entirely artificial SUV boom back in the late ’80s and early ‘90s. Which developed in response to the forced-by-fatwa downsizing of cars. Most people did not – and still do not – like small, under-engined cars; so they bought big SUVs instead, which were still very much like the big American cars of the ’70s and earlier, just higher-riding and with four-wheel-drive. They had V8s, lots of room and you felt secure inside of one.

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There weren’t many – at this time, they were still “niche” or specialty vehicles that were sold in relatively small numbers – but they were available because they were (at the time) subject to a less-strict government fuel economy fatwa and so the automakers were able to build them in quantity.

Their popularity surged; soon every major car company was making them.

But these big SUVs were a big problem for small cars.

Their bumpers were mounted much higher than the small car’s – and of course, the big SUV was bigger (and heavier). When a big, heavy SUV rear-ended a small car, the SUV’s bumper rode over the car’s bumper and accordionized the car – an effect enhanced by the greater weight of the SUV.

Solution? Build cars with fat asses that jutted high up in the air.

Well, that was government’s solution. The better solution – rescinding the fuel economy fatwas (why is the gas mileage of our cars any of the government’s business?) so that car designers could design cars that looked good, which people wanted and which were safe (because now you could see behind you without needing a backup camera) was never even considered.

Instead, we get Clydesdale-assed cars. And homogeneity.

Pop the hood for more of the same. You may have noticed. The small, heavily turbocharged four cylinder engine is becoming the universal engine. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, VW, Hyundai, General Motors. Different brands – and badges – but have many of their models have 2.0-liter turbocharged fours as their power plants.

They are not exactly identical engines, as far as their internals. But they are very similar, including – obviously – their displacement.

This is not coincidental.

More fatwas.

Less range-of-action. More of the same-same results.

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Eric Peters

Eric started out writing about cars for mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Times, Detroit News and Free Press, Investors Business Daily, The American Spectator, National Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal.

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