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As car choices grow leaner & greener, our dreams remain fast & furious

Posted: August 22, 2012 - 8:00PM
Author: Don Bain
Hybrid sales are up this year, despite a downturn while gas prices remained stable this summer, but it is doubtful many young adults have pictures of the Toyota Prius as the wallpaper on their digital devices.


At a recent, auto brand event, an executive told us they expected up to 25 percent of total sales of a particular model, available in both gas and hybrid modes, to be comprised by hybrid orders.

Nevertheless, when you mention hybrids to most people, the image that pops into their mind is the Prius and its aerodynamic but not visually arousing shape. When people describe their dream cars they are likely to have more to do with muscle cars, exotics and premium lines.

That’s why you’re likely to see posters and paintings of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, BMWs and the like, which is not to say no one will ever paint a picture with Prius in it.

The auto leasing website, asked a small sampling of 200 respondents to pick their favorite hybrid and a great majority declined to do so.

"People might be dreaming of fuel independence and better gas mileage, but they aren't dreaming about hybrids," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of "Our dream car survey illustrates that people want more 'fast and furious' in their vehicle of choice, not 'lean and green.'"

Of course all of this may just be whistling Dixie anyway in just a few years, if the interconnected communications of cars currently in testing in Ann Arbor MI succeed in preventing accidents. Such systems will tend to take the fast and furious out of the equation.

That is unless the people at MacAfee are right and the more interconnected our cars, cities and highways become, the greater the danger from hackers, who could set cars and traffic lights to run wildly as in the film Live Free or Die Hard.

In the meantime, there is a growing acceptance of diesel fuel as the current solution to the alternative powertrain mix.

"It's not terribly surprising that hybrids haven't topped the list of people's dream cars. So far, hybrids have tended to be utilitarian-looking vehicles, not sleek and fast-looking, and their relatively new, unfamiliar technology has only resulted in sales to about three percent of U.S. car shoppers in the decade-plus that they have been available," stated Features Editor Carroll Lachnit. "Diesel popularity is understandable, as diesel cars get phenomenal mileage and don't require drivers to get used to anything new, other than pulling up to a different pump at the gas station."

In the one month long Swapalease survey, BMW and Mercedes seemed to come up most as dream cars. The Range Rover HSE took 29 percent of mentions, with 26 percent going to the Porsche Cayenne. Another 24 percent was write-ins for convertibles, with the Audi R8 Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet accounting for another 40 percent between them.

As far as pickups go, everyone seems to want a Ford F Series. The Maserati Quattroporte took first in luxury sedans followed by the Mercedes S550 4Matic and the BMW 750i xDrive. The Ferrari 559 GTO the big dream of sports car enthusiasts, and write-ins included a "67 boss Mustang fastback" and a "2012 Chevrolet Camaro in yellow and black with 0 miles on it," showing the place these classics still hold in certain American hearts.

Personally, my dream car would be a premium sports luxury hybrid convertible, but that’s just me, and it doesn’t exist yet.

Do you have a different dream car to suggest? We’d love to know what and why!