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Gas-Powered Enthusiast Cars Are a Dying Breed, Get Them While You Still Can

There’s no kidding around here. Fossil fuel cars are nearly done. Yes, they will stick around for a decade or so to ease the transition to zero-emission vehicles, but soon enough, nobody’s going to enthusiastically announce a brand-new car that's cool, powerful, and uses only gas. Here’s why you should get ready to take advantage of what’s currently on the market or what’s going to be taken out of it very soon.
Cadillac CT-5V BlackwingDodge Charger BurnoutTailpipeRAM 1500 TRXBMW M5 CSDodge Challenger SRT Super Stock
It doesn’t matter what our personal feelings are – the future of the automobile as we know it is going to be electric. Be it battery electric, solar, or fuel cell technology, nothing will stop carmakers from pursuing the zero-emission route. Governments from important markets agree this is the way to go, and, in a decade or so, nobody from those countries will be able to buy a new car that’s only burning gas.

There is a slight chance that plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) might be able to survive for a bit longer, but even these electrified vehicles will become a thing of the past after 2030. That is, of course, if global powers manage to not drag everyone into an armed conflict.

And I’m not going to bet on vehicles with range extenders either. They aim to use an engine only as a generator in the most efficient way possible. They might be better than PHEVs when it comes to pollution figures, but their development has been largely ignored. Some carmakers, like Honda, currently use a solution that’s somewhat similar to range extenders. Unfortunately, the engine remains the main power unit.It's serious
But let’s get back to why gas-powered enthusiast cars are doomed. Europe, for example, is making the research and development of gasoline engines less profitable for automakers. Companies are expecting the Euro 7 standard to be severely strict. Forcing carmakers to lower the emissions to levels believed impossible only five or six years ago while EVs are becoming increasingly popular is only going to lead in one way – ditch the fossil fuel-hungry engines entirely and focus on something else.

Moreover, some big names like Audi already announced they’re giving up on developing new engines for their future lineup. They’re sticking with the all-electric route for the upcoming roster of vehicles and will only modify some of their current powertrains to fit with what the EU wants. The company is planning to move away from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles starting from 2027, when the A3 and A6 are reportedly planned to be sold as EV-only cars.

Canada has already decided that 2035 is the last year when new fuel-burning vehicles will be sold to customers. The UK established 2030 as the year to give up on selling new ICE-only cars, but the country will allow hybrids to be available to customers until 2035. The U.S. remains undecided on the matter for now, even though the current administration supports EVs. Some might argue that changing the EV tax credit rules contradicts that statement, but, as we all know by now, the world can’t just switch at once to all-electric cars, vans, and trucks. It’s a process that must happen in phases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nonetheless, decided that cars manufactured from 2024 and until 2026 must consume less fuel. Known as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), this policy change essentially forces automakers to invest in new, very efficient engines or transform their current ones.

All these upcoming changes mean only one thing – it’s going to be increasingly harder to make pure gas-powered cars. Automakers will either electrify their lineup, or they’ll just give up on what can’t be easily upgraded. Not because they want to, but as a consequence of EVs being expensive to develop and manufacture. That's the future, and they must remain competitive.Where does all this leave enthusiasts? In a very good place!
No matter what your beliefs are, it’s important to make changes worldwide when it comes to cars that run on fossil fuels. An engine could become as efficient as possible, and it would continue to burn gas or diesel and emit harmful gasses to the environment. Even if some countries like China or India and some companies like Chevron, Saudi Aramco, or BP could be blamed for producing large quantities of carbon dioxide – a gas that amplifies the greenhouse effect and leads to global warming – transportation is still a major contributor to the world pollution. Just in the EU, a quarter of the total yearly CO2 emissions came from transportation, of which road transportation accounted for over 71%.

The aviation industry needs to change as well, but that’s a topic we’ll leave aside for another time.

Thus, it’s clear that a change must happen, and governments of developed economies are preparing for it. Well, then, what’s left for the enthusiast? A great opportunity.

Buying cars that are nearing their expiration date is going to pay off. Honda (Acura) was struggling to sell the NSX because of many valid reasons. But when they announced the “Final Edition,” the hybrid supercar sold unexpectedly fast. People knew that getting the last models would transform them into stores of value. They’re not only great-looking vehicles but a way to guarantee that, in a couple of years, someone will most likely want that product, and money won’t be an issue.

But the real value is hidden in cars like the all-new BMW M5 CS, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (not yet revealed), or even the Ram 1500 TRX. There will come a time when people will look at a 6.2-liter V8 engine hidden under the hood of a truck in disbelief.

And, if you need proof, just look at Ferrari. The 488’s predecessor – the Ferrari 458 – jumped in value as soon as people learned that they were moving to a turbocharged power unit from a naturally aspirated one. Even better, look at Lamborghini and how they’re trying to keep the naturally aspirated V10s and V12s for as long as possible on the market.

Some automakers will rush in two or three years to launch or announce final editions of their most desirable vehicles. Generally, they will make sure to not sell many of them, which will only make these special units more attractive in the long run. Just make sure to buy the right thing. A manual Toyota Supra won’t be as attractive as a Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock in a decade or so.

And that’s why enthusiasts should follow their favorite brand, keep in touch with a good dealer, and make sure there’s enough money in the bank to get their hands on special edition cars that will be the last hurrah for gas-powered enthusiast vehicles. Be it V8s, V12s, W12s, and even good in-line six-cylinder engines, knowing that buying them new from manufacturers will drive their prices into the stratosphere.

Picking an enthusiast car in the next five to seven years won’t be just a selfish thing to do for yourself but a great way of making sure there’s an appreciating asset sitting in your garage. Just make sure you’re on the right list.

 
 
 
 
 

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