We bet most Americans have no idea what the new Obama CAFE standards will mean in the real world. In order to double US automakers' average fuel economy, we'll be paying more for the privilege of driving three cylinder cars.
Carmakers have spent the past few years aggressively downsizing engines throughout their lineups to meet increasingly tight fuel-economy regulations. But with the sole exception of the three-cylinder Smart Fortwo, four cylinders is as low as carmakers have expected Americans to go. Three-cylinders are common in Europe but have been scorned in the U.S., where they’re tainted by association with claptrap cars like the mousy Geo Metro. Now, with fuel-economy standards set to rise as high as 56.2 mph by 2025, Ford is planning to bring the three-cylinder to the American mainstream.
These roller skates will provide a challenge to the marketing deaprtments and ad agencies who will be asked to convince Mr. and Mrs. America that they want the micro-rides. Fortunately, Iowahawk's crack creative team recently gave a helping hand to those puzzled corporate communications MBAs: