There Goes Another One

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You may have heard about Toyota’s replacement for its Avalon sedan – the largest sedan Toyota sold that isn’t a Lexus. It’s called the Crown – and what’s perhaps most interesting about it is that unlike the Avalon, it no longer comes standard with a V6. Or even offers one as an option.

It comes only with a four cylinder/hybrid drivetrain now. Readers of this column will know why.

It is not because buyers have been clamoring for a four cylinder engine in an almost-full-sized sedan. It is because a four cylinder engine – with the aid of a hybrid (i.e., partially electric) drivetrain – is essential for Toyota, which has to deal with a looming (2026) Great Leap Forward of federal gas mileage mandatory minimums from the current mid-30s to just shy of 50 MPG.

The 2023 Crown hybrid comes close to “achieving compliance” with this. Not quite all-the-way. But averaging 40 MPG (which the Crown hybrid does) is much closer to the pending mandatory MPG minimum of nearly 50 MPG than the V6 Avalon’s 26 MPG average.

And so sayonara to the V6.

Also to the Avalon’s lower price.

The final (2022) model of the latter stickered for $36,825 to start. The new Crown stickers for $39,950 to start, a difference of $3,125. That’s how much extra you’ll be spending to “save on gas” – per the logic of the government. And you’ll also be losing – to the tune of 65 horsepower. That’s the difference between the power output of the formerly standard 3.5 liter, 301 horsepower V6 that came standard in the Avalon and the newly standard 2.5 liter, 236 horsepower four cylinder/hybrid combo that comes standard in the new Crown.

There is a little bit of good news in that you can choose to buy a new Crown with a smaller (but stronger, because turbo-goosed) 2.4 liter engine, also paired with a partially “electrified” hybrid powertrain. This combo makes more power (340 horsepower) than the force-retired 3.5 liter V6. But it’ll cost you Lexus money – $52,530.

This version of the Crown is – by far –  the most expensive sedan Toyota has ever offered.

It is also the heaviest – by far.

This version of the crown weighs an astounding 4,306 lbs., which – for the record – is almost as heavy as a 1970 Cadillac Sedan deVille, which was a much larger car, with a much larger (472 cubic inch or nearly 8 liter) V8 engine under its hood. And – by the way – the ’70 deVille, which was a Cadillac and a top-of-the-line model for Cadillac – stickered originally for $6,118 which, in today’s money, is about $2k less than the base price of this top-of-the-line Toyota.

Interestingly, the 340 horsepower version of the Crown only average 30 MPG – or only 4 MPG better than the sayonara’d V6 Avalon achieved.

It’s interesting because it tells us – without spelling it out – what the real cost of “saving gas” is.

Let me spell it out for you:

Toyota is still offering the power of the V6 Avalon – in the form of the 340 horsepower iteration of the Crown – that has the power you used to get standard in the Avalon. But the cost of acquisition is much higher – to the tune of $15,705. That is the difference in price between the new Crown with its optional (more powerful) turbo-hybrid drivetrain and the no-longer-available Avalon that came standard with a powerful drivetrain.

And here’s where it gets really interesting.

By dint of its price, fewer people will opt to buy the new Crown with its available drivetrain, which is why Toyota is able to offer it at all.

If that sounds counterintuitive it’s because you don’t appreciate how CAFE – Corporate Average Fuel Economy – regs work. CAFE being the formal acronym for the federally mandated gas mileage mandatory minimums that are about to Great Leap Forward to just shy of 50 MPG. They work by punishing (via fines) the selling of vehicles that do not comply with the regs. The manufacturers thus are incentivized to not sell them. Or – more finely – to sell as few of them as possible as fewer sold have a lesser impact on the manufacturer’s overall CAFE “fleet average.”

A really effective way to sell fewer cars – or trucks or SUVs – is to make it so that fewer can afford to buy them. Yet it is still important for appearances’ sake to offer the kinds of vehicles most people used to be able to afford. Or which they could at least aspire to owning. More finely – as regards this case-in-point – Toyota can tout that a 340 horsepower version of the Crown is available and that this version of the Crown is more powerful and so, putatively an upgrade over the old V6-powered Avalon.

But the fine print – so to speak – is that you probably won’t be able to afford this upgrade. And even if you can, fewer other will be able to.

In brief, CAFE is not about “saving gas.” It is about proletarianizing cars. The people who can afford it will always be able to get the power they want.

It is the rest of us who will be unable to get it, because we’ve been priced out of the market.

This is the mechanism (one of them) by which a new variant of feudalism is asserting itself and re-establishing the old prerogatives and status of wealth and privilege. It is not enough for the new Lords of the Heath to own nice things; it is everything (to the Lords of the Heath) that we do not own them.

Once you understand this, you will understand everything.

. . .

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Fours only available soon means everyone will end up with a peasant car. Disgusting.
    Every launch from a stop a reminder you’re driving a compromise. A whimper instead of a growl opening the throttle.

    They can try to dress it up, add a turbo, still missing half an engine!

    The old Chrysler ads back in the day “there’s no substitute for cubic inches”

  2. Win free money from the EPA:

    ‘The “Biden” administration was roasted this week after it unveiled an initiative offering Americans the chance to win thousands of dollars for submitting a video showcasing their electric vehicle.

    ‘The EPA announced an “EV Video Challenge” on Tuesday, offering a total of $13,500. Three categories — personal mobility, electric vehicle and electric bus — each will have three winners. First prize will be $3,000, second prize will be $1,000, and third prize will be $500.

    “Electric vehicles with quiet motors and quick acceleration can be fun to drive or ride in, but like any new technology, they can take some getting used to at first,” the EPA said.

    “Beyond parody: the Biden Administration’s ESG push is failing at such an alarming rate that the EPA is now offering to *pay people* for positive stories about EVs,” Consumers’ Research wrote on X.

    “This is what desperation looks like: using taxpayer dollars to prop up a propaganda campaign supporting your failing agenda,” the group’s executive director Will Hild said in a separate post. — Fox News

    Here’s a potential winner (quiet motor; quick acceleration!):

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/NbwvEl2_SEA

    • Everyone with a classic car should submit a video. Preferably a video making lots of noise and burning rubber. Title these “To Hell With EeeeVeees”.

      • Or possibly, an ICE car pulling up to a gas pump, the driver gets out to fill the tank AND starts a stopwatch (click), time how long it takes to fill the tank, pay for the gas, and drive away again (click). hehehehe

    • I was worried that that’s what this article was about. Glad it’s still here for now. I’m sure one day though there will be an article on just that subject. Shame. Toyota makes such a great NA V6.

  3. ‘But averaging 40 MPG (which the Crown hybrid does) is much closer to the pending mandatory MPG minimum of nearly 50 MPG than the V6 Avalon’s 26 MPG average.’ — eric

    It might be even closer than you think:

    ‘On average, combined label values with today’s label methodology are about 20% lower than the traditional city and highway tests used to calculate Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE.’ — EPA [page 2 of linked document]

    https://tinyurl.com/5fm3dukz

    Stated differently, the dynamometer tests used to calculate CAFE produce about 25% higher mileage than the window sticker says, helping mfrs meet absurdly stringent goals.

    In the wacky world of Big Gov, forty is the new fifty.

  4. With this push for global war from the psychopaths that REALLY run various governments (including the Biden regime), if they get their way, wouldn’t that in itself cause all sorts of environmental damage? Or is it only the plebes driving gas vehicles, using gas stoves, eating meat, etc., that “Causes climate change”? That’s a question that should be asked of those who belieeeeeeeeeeeeve the narratives about a “Climate crisis”.

  5. God Bless Electric Vehicles! You have to be kidding.

    God Bless Joe Biden! Yeah, right!

    God Bless Chuck Schumer! God bless Rochelle Walensky! God Bless Anthony Fauci! God Bless Anthony Blinken!

    Surely you jest.

    God Bless Benjamin Netanyahoo! Hell no!

    God Bless the Hamas Fighters! Maybe not!

    God Bless the IDF! How about no?

    God Bless the Palestinians! For the meek shall inherit the earth!

    God can’t bless the goddamned Jews, doesn’t do any good.

    But, your flag decal won’t get you
    Into Heaven any more
    They’re already overcrowded
    From your dirty little war
    Now, Jesus don’t like killin’
    No matter what the reason’s for
    And your flag decal won’t get you
    Into Heaven any more
    – John Prine, Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore

  6. I have never been able to understand (up until fairly recently) why big pickup trucks are such popular vehicles. I’ve wondered what do they have (other than cargo carrying and towing capacity) that smaller SUVs and sedans don’t have? Besides, so many have pickups (myself included) that are seldom or even never used to haul anything.
    But with the disappearing of V-8 and now 6 cyl. engines it is starting to make sense to me. Maybe people are buying big trucks because that is the only way they can get a big vehicle with a big engine…..and one they can transport the family in, and, if need be, haul stuff.
    At least in my case my husband had the truck when I married him (and he did have a boat at one time), but plenty of people buy then who plan on towing nothing at all.

    • Correct. Been in pickups since the big sedans went away. And it sucked early on cause they road like trucks. They don’t now.
      We use everything they offer from towing, hauling, and providing a large comfortable cabin.

  7. >It is not enough for the new Lords of the Heath to own nice things; it is everything (to the Lords of the Heath) that we do not own them.
    Well, here is a place so progressive that hardly anyone drives anymore:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/program/newsfeed/2023/11/11/nakba-survivor-displaced-in-gaza-as-tens-of-thousands-flee-south

    Fighting “climate change” simultaneously with “fighting terrorism.” How virtuous can you get? Praise be to the “greening” of Gaza, and all hail the prosperity of General Dynamics.
    Our tax dollars at work, folks!

  8. Crown is likely already doomed to fail due to multiple factors – including the price. It’s not a true sedan, nor an SUV. Nobody is looking for this thing at a Toyota dealership at its current price level. At that point, they move on to a Lexus ES, etc.

    Which is what proves Eric’s point (per prior articles) that not only every car will be a luxury car, but that in the future the car itself will only be available AS a luxury.

  9. Had some work done at the stealership yesterday. Last night I got this email…

    Ready,

    We see that you recently visited our service department on 11/10/2023.Thank you for the opportunity to service your vehicle with us! Market analysis indicates that your 2016 JEEP CHEROKEE is in high demand and (dealer) Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram would like the opportunity to either purchase or trade your current vehicle above the current book value.

    Many times you can trade your vehicle with no money down and possibly lower your monthly payment! Even if your car is paid off, we also have great incentives for cash buyers! We have the best selection, the lowest prices, and the greatest customer service in the region.

    To participate in this unique program, please reply to this email to schedule a VIP Appointment with your Vehicle Exchange Coordinator or simply call (dealer) Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at (phone) and ask to speak to a Sales Manager.

    We will credit up to $500 of the amount spent on your last service visit toward the purchase of a new vehicle.

    Really? High demand? for a goofy looking car with M/S tires and a lift kit?

    Maybe because it has a naturally aspirated V6. Maybe because its 3G cellular modem no longer functions.

    Perhaps because they have a dozen Wrangler 4XE’s sitting on the lot they have to move.

    • Probably right. When we recently traded our v8 grand cherokee they were drooling over it. They are rare. And when they tried to sell us a new one w no v8 option anymore and still no hurricane engine available yet. We walked and they knew why. But please drive this 4xe!
      Haha, NO.

        • I still get people wanting to buy my old, ’07 WRX, even with the 234,000 miles on it (and manual trans). Have taken care of it, and even with it being old, I think it makes a good back up vehicle. Newer is not always better.

          • I used to get cards & emails from dealers wanting to buy/trade my 2000 4Runner, 4WD, automatic, 3.2 V6, 250+K miles, nothing special.
            Even if I did sell/trade, what am I going to get in return that’s just as good?

  10. Notice how progressivism leads to less?

    Less choice, less freedom, less money.

    It is the design to recreate the aristocratic and serf classes.

    • Oh, not less. Optimized. Efficiently distributed. You know, according to need. The state needs more. Always more. You… well, you have too much. You don’t “need” all that excess.

      🤡🌏

      • I always thought “Progressivism” was just a fancy word for “Communism”: Dressed up for the stupid people who do not know any better, and who are too dumb to read between the lines.

  11. RE: “Once you understand this, you will understand everything.”

    If this keeps up, People won’t harbor the illusion they own the fruits of their labor, especially not even the money in their hands.

    Try reading this bit about the digital ID/money in Russia without thinking the same method of presentation wouldn’t apply worldwide and the weasel minions here wouldn’t say the same danged things, just like the “100% safe & effective” shot or the claimed effectiveness of face diapers:

    ‘Russia’s “digital transformation”: Come and see’
    “Everything is going according to plan” […]

    “Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia has already reneged on its promise that it would never, ever, ever (!) place restrictions on what Russians can use their digital rubles for.”…

    https://edwardslavsquat.substack.com/p/russias-digital-transformation-come

    • Evil is worldwide,,, not just a few nations. Putin is a WEF acolyte like most of the rest. He will lead Russia straight to Hades. Digital IS evils weapon of choice. Once locked in, there is no escape.
      Evil surrounds us,,,beckons us with all sorts of wealth and promises but will only deliver our enslavement.

      • Hi Ken,

        I lately think often of just selling everything I still have and buying an RV and a truck to pull it and disappearing into the Deep Woods, on a 50 acre plot no one knows we have (or cares we have).

        • I have considered Mexico. No mandates and the cartels keep the government in line. Pretty safe so long as you mind your bees wax. No place left in the US of A to go where you will be let alone. That’s long gone. Mexico isn’t trying to rule the world,,, doesn’t claim to be the Big Dog and doesn’t consider its People as terrorists. Mexicans are still courteous and congenial for the most part.
          If I were your age and could make a living writing books like I’d bet you could,,, I’d consider it.

          • Living Expenses and Taxes are also less (sometimes much less) and the driving is more spirited. It’s better to be a tourist in the US than a resident.

            • Venezuela?

              warm climate…..

              They have a lot of the old American muscle cars roaming around…a bit like Cuba?….and gas is 10 cents a gallon….drive all day…

              A small apartment costs about $15,000…rents for $100 to $200 per month…..

              with a small amount of money you are rich there…..

            • Hi Ken, what part of Mexico do you like? I’m partial to Acapulco, even though its been 30 years since I visited. An acquaintance recently spent a weekend there, and it sounds unsafe to me. I’m not into being the lone gringo, where I stand out. Even though nature opened up my skin for sun, and I sport a nice tan in summer, it seems hard to blend in.

              Been to Baja a few times in the last few years. No mask/Vaxx BS along the Az points of entry, Rocky point, and points south. Its mostly pretty calm, laid back. Still, would be hard to live without access to a shooting iron. Water is gold down there. Unless you’re near a place with a de-salinazation plant the Baja can be just another pretty desert, albeit on the ocean.

          • I dunno, Ken. Seems like you’re describing a Mexico from 30 yrs. ago, & that Mexico doesn’t exist anymore, or so I’ve read, mixed with… ” the cartels keep the government in line. Pretty safe so long as you mind your bees wax” … it just does not seem so, for Gringos anyway. Ymmv?

            Unarmed while living in a dirt floor hut in a warm climate vs. this description I read yesterday:

            …”Buying raw land and putting a camper on it while you learn to grow your own food is nothing more than a fantasy. Oh, I know of people who are trying to do just that. The other day, as I drove 45 minutes through the meandering hills to get to a Feed Store that has the best prices, I saw some raw land with a big camper on it, some kid toys, a couple of camp chairs, and a fire pit. I noticed that the land was in process of being cleared. I groaned just looking at it in passing. No electricity, no septic, no water…. And it’s November! They would have to tow that huge trailer out to dump their tanks, fill up with water, pick up propane, and I have no idea if there was solar on top of the trailer for basic needs. I noticed that where they parked, it’s shaded by a hill, and that’s great for keeping things cool, but not so great when you need as much sun exposure for solar as possible. I guess they could move the camper about when needed, but there were no roads, at all. With the amount of rain we get here, they could get really stuck in the clay mud. I wondered how long they would stick it out. That doesn’t look like “freedom” to me. It looks like a nightmare. Oh, it might be fun for a few weeks and then the reality sets in of hauling your own water, rationing propane, keeping clothes and yourself clean. Well, to each his or her own, but I would never do that.”…

            https://survivalblog.com/2023/11/10/homesteading-cautionary-tale-part-1-sarasue/

            On the YouTube videos Nomadic Movement has been posting of his 48 States in 48 days, he’s none too happy with his fancy Airstream camper trailer, it’s falling apart… I can only imagine the unseen parts.

        • I wonder if we’ll ever hear how that one fella is doing down in the Dominican Republic (was it that one?) or, did he comment & I missed it?

          It was right around the end of The Before Times, as I recall, when he was making his move down there. It sure sounded nice.

          …But, didn’t all the Caribbean islands go all nuts for face diaper mandates & forced shots? Idk.

          • Turkmenistan……in 2020 someone commented that if you said “covid” there you would be arrested….lol….they wanted no part in the covidian hoax bs narrative….

            move to Turkmenistan

            The authoritarian government of Turkmenistan apparently banned the use of the word “corona virus”. say it, go to jail.
            there are no cv19 deaths or cases in the country,
            Those who wear a mask are arrested by police, Reporters without Borders said.

            belarus
            Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in 2020 via Belarusian Telegraph Agency, BelTA., that World Bank and IMF offered him a bribe of $940 million USD in the form of “Covid Relief Aid.” In exchange for $940 million USD, the World Bank and IMF demanded that the President of Belarus: he refused it, he has more ethics than these other leaders.

            • imposed “extreme lockdown on his people”
            • force them to wear face masks
            • impose very strict curfews
            • impose a police state
            • crash the economy

            Overall, the Belarussian approach has been the least authoritarian in Europe. Belarussian football went ahead as normal and fans were allowed to continue attending games.

            Theatres, cafes, restaurants and other social events continued and there was no shutdown of the economy. Victory Day Parades also went ahead on the 9th May.

            move to nicaragua?

            nicaragua booted out the kill shot pushers on day one…deported…

            note: nicaragua did great with no lockdowns or masks, no injections, no mandates, no deaths or cases, nothing, complete rejection of the whole wef/who/cdc covid narrative, a paradise for 2 1/2 years…lol…….so the leader didn’t get his $1 billion bribe like all the G7 leaders…..

        • While watching today’s Nomadic Movement video, I thought of your comment, Eric.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0YmOFOpxY8

          They stopped by a friends place where he transformed old school busses & ambulances into living spaces.

          They mentioned how ya could put a motorcycle inside the back of one… can’t exactly do that with a Jayco. ?

          Bump & jump & go out the back door?

          The cast iron wood stove in one looked like a good thing.

          …Just food for thought.

      • I asked Sean Hross Phd historian…..

        where do you move to to get away from the slave owners…the WEF gang….he says you can’t…

        so…. move to the place with the lowest cost of living and the best climate…..

      • No doubt, Landru.

        While reading about leadership, … pointing the way towards a better future was always…

        For the most part, We don’t have that now.

        I went to LRC & tried to get a good counter-link, I plugged in the word, resistance.

        Below it, it said:

        “5223 items found for “resistance””

        And, below that,… the page was blank.

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