All About luxury cars

Can We Please Stop With All The Hybrid Luxury Cars?We'll start off today's column with a little game. It's called: Guess which automaker currently offers the most plug-in hybrid vehicles. I'll give you a minute to think it over.

If you're like me, you're probably thinking that it's Toyota. They're obsessed with going green, right? I mean, they've got that hybrid Highlander, and that hybrid Camry, and that normal-sized Prius, and that little Prius, and that big Prius that looks like a regular Prius wearing a backpack. But no, it isn't Toyota.

OK, so maybe it's Honda. They're all into that "Power of Dreams" crap, and they're always trying to change the world in one way or another, whether it's with that unibody pickup, or that V6 luxury sedan, or that robot that climbs stairs about as well as Joe Pesci in . But it's not Honda, either.

"OK, then which company DOES make the most plug-in hybrids?" you might be wondering. Is it Chevrolet? Nope. Ford? Nope. Nissan? Nope. "So, " I can hear you thinking. "Is it some stupid startup company we've never heard of that TECHNICALLY offers the most plug-in hybrid vehicles, but none of them currently exist, sort of like Acura TECHNICALLY offers an exotic sports car, even though we'll all be driving hovercrafts by the time it reaches dealers?" And once again, my answer is: Nope.

That's because the company that offers the most plug-in hybrid vehicles of any automaker is none other than… Porsche.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen: Porsche currently offers three different plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is more than anyone else. More than Honda, more than Toyota, more than Ford. There's the e-Hybrid e-Panamera, the e-Cayenne Hybrid-e, and the e-918 Spyder, all of which offer the last word in e-luxury, and e-technology, and e-performance, combined with an electric motor that provides approximately the same range as a golf cart.

And this brings me to my point today, which is: hybrid luxury cars need to go away.

My first reason for this viewpoint is obvious: because the kind of person who has enough money to afford a hybrid luxury car probably doesn't really care all that much about fuel economy. Case in point: the starting price of the outgoing Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid was just under $93, 000 with shipping. Ninety. Three. Thousand. Dollars. For a car that offered four more miles per gallon in the city, ZERO more miles per gallon on the highway, and — I swear this is true — 175 less horsepower than a standard, gasoline-powered S-Class.

I'd be curious to learn about Mercedes-Benz's thought process here. Do they really think some rich guy is going to get the S400 Hybrid over the S550 purely because he'll get nineteen miles per gallon rather than fifteen miles per gallon? Do they think he's going to say to his wife: "HEY HONEY! COME CHECK THIS OUT!! I'm done with PASSENGER VAN gas mileage! SEE THAT? I'm in CARGO VAN territory now!!!" HELL NO! He's going to say: "My name is Dale, and I work for Mercedes-Benz, because employee lease programs are the only way they could possibly unload these ridiculous cars."

Pricing isn't the only problem with hybrid luxury cars. In fact, it's not even the main problem. That's because the main problem is: virtually every one of them is absolute crap.

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