Maybe There is Hope!

  • August 10, 2023

During the peak of sickness psychosis, it was not easy to imagine the end of it. Especially when almost everywhere you went, there was visual affirmation of it, in the form of the grotesque “mask” wearing that became the symbol of this weaponization of hypochondria.

It is similarly difficult to imagine the end of this push to replace everything that has an engine with something that has a battery.

But there are signs of a change in direction – as there were during the latter-stages of the “pandemic,” by which time it had become very obvious to a large number of people that the whole thing had been pushed – and that it was based largely on deliberately manufactured, well-orchestrated mass hysteria.

Many refused to continue going along with the Kabuki – and that is what ended the Kabuki.

Maybe – hopefully – the same is happening right now with regard to this push to force us all into battery-powered appliances.

Mercedes is bringing back the V8 – in its high-performance AMG C 63 S. The 2024 model is powered by a very powerful (671 horsepower) four cylinder-hybrid/electric drivetrain. But power – and performance – isn’t everything. Though the AMG C 63 S can jump to 60 in just over three seconds – comparable to the performance of a Tesla S Plaid – there is something lacking. Something that a four cylinder-hybrid/electric drivetrain cannot deliver, no matter how powerful it is.

So, Mercedes is reportedly walking it back – and will bring back the V8 for 2026. It will still apparently be paired with a hybrid system of some sort, but that’s ok. Because it’s got what’s lacking. That being something more than you get when you buy an economy car and something more interesting than you get when you buy an electric car.

These AMG Benzes are expensive, top-of-the-line cars. When one pays more than most families earn in two years for a car, one understandably expects to get more than what’s under the hood of a $20,000 economy car. Yes, yes – the current AMG 63’s 2.0 liter four (goosed by a hybrid-electric supplementary drivetrain) makes more power than most V8s.

But it is still a 2.0 liter four.

Civics also have 2.0 liter fours.

Not that there’s anything wrong with them. But that isn’t the point – as regards having the same size engine in your Mercedes as the guy in the next lane has in his Civic. You could concentrate all the protein, nutrition – and even maybe the taste – of a ribeye steak into a hamburger patty and it would still be a hamburger patty. And people who pay ribeye money won’t abide being fed hamburger – however tasty.

Car & Driver says the “AMG community” is “not amused” by the hamburger Mercedes slipped them in lieu of the steak they’d been accustomed to. It is why the just-introduced 2024 AMG C63 with the 2.0 liter four will be supplanted before it is even two years old by a 4.0 liter V8.

Because that is something you cannot get in a Civic.

It is also something more – and something less.

More – in the literal sense, of course – because it amounts to a repudiation of less, especially when you’re paying top dollar for it. The people who can pay top dollar have made their preferences known and Mercedes – which depends on the business of people who have wallets fat enough to pay top dollar – had to listen.

But the rest of us will get to watch.

While it is happy news to see a V8 revival, it is also kind of like seeing people eating steak through a plate glass window, in a restaurant you can’t afford to enter. It’s not that you’re resentful of those who can afford to eat there. It’s that it’s depressing to know you can’t eat there and – more – that you probably will never.

V8s were as common as hamburgers as recently as about a decade ago – and almost as affordable. You could get one in a full-size sedan such as a Ford Crown Victoria for about what it costs to buy a four cylinder powered, mid-sized Camry today. You could still get one this year, in a mid-sized sedan like the ’23 Charger for about a third what it costs to buy an AMG Benz equipped with one.

But not for much longer. The Charger’s V8 is on its way out. The rest are already gone.

And that’s just the point.

In the future – which is almost tomorrow – the very few who are very affluent will still be able to buy the very V8s that will still be available. The rest of us will perhaps be allowed to buy 2.0 liter fours, paired with a hybrid/electric drivetrain. These won’t make AMG horsepower, either. But they will probably cost a third as much an AMG Benz.

Assuming we’re allowed to buy them at all.

. . .

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