Gasoline prices hit record numbersGovernment-funded tax refund checks may help ease the burden of a slumping economy but, in my opinion, this $600 stimulus package our clueless president so boldly gloats over is nothing more than a temporary bandage that covers the wound. I believe our economy really needs straightforward answers and proactive results from our government to stitch up this problem and stop the bleeding before we all end up 6 feet under. Who would've imagined we as consumers would be paying through the teeth for a gallon of gas every time we stepped foot in the local stations? It's not even summer yet and already the price of gas has eclipsed the $4 marker with rumors of record-high prices yet to come. Politicians, get off your cushy chairs and do something at our state's capitol! Don't go around blaming the Saudis, Iraqis, or the war for the $4 a gallon disaster you've created for us. I don't think that the oil companies are to blame for this crisis. They only produce the fuel needed for our cars. Strict government emission and environmental regulations to blend a fuel specially formulated for California as well as environmental oil drilling regulations, however, I believe have driven costs to a new record high.
For those who aren't familiar with California petrol, you'll be rather pleased to know that we do indeed have the crappiest fuel in the country, thanks in part to the government-regulated mixtures that alienated our gas from other stations across the states. It began in January 2004 when California gas was mandated to remove the octane booster MTBE. Specific grade ethanol that has to be driven over from the Midwest rather than using a corn-based ethanol base due to strict emissions is also a culprit to the rising prices. Add-on the mandatory requirements of gas stations to install a double-walled underground fuel tank system and replace its single wall setup and you get a good idea of how my sh*tty Lexus jumped from paying $38 to nearly $65 to fill up.
So what's a car enthusiast like you and I to do? Trade in our Mitsubishi Evo for a not-so thrilling Toyota Prius or Honda Insight? Toss me off the building, because I'd rather plummet to my death than be caught tooting along in a POS on the car pool lane. For me, pride will always have precedent over environmental and social costs, as I'm sure my fellow Turbo magazine readers will agree upon. So what's a car enthusiast, who sports a street machine running 20-plus psi equipped with a full turbo-back exhaust system, to do about his gas-guzzling dilemma? Selling your ride and buying an eco-friendly monstrosity is one option. The more logical choice, however, is to look into fuel management tuning to extract optimal fuel economy without sacrificing horsepower. Sure, it's been done before but has it been done tastefully? Look forward to our upcoming issues as we go in depth on alternative fuel systems (11-second electric-powered drag cars) and maximizing your mileage. In the testing phases we posted some promising preliminary results, as our test bed Integra GSR has maintained more than 45 mpg with a custom fuel map setup. Until then, keep burning up the ozone layer and manipulating the greenhouse effect; you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be doing the same.