D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2021

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While sales of muscle cars outstripped sales of hybrids, things are not as simple as they seem.
While sales of muscle cars outstripped sales of hybrids vehicles, things are not as simple as they seem. (image by Chevrolet.com)

May 2011 saw gas prices go over $4.00 a gallon in most parts of the United States. Some insurers offer special discounts for driving a hybrid engine car, and high-performance automobiles generally have a more expensive cost of insurance. Despite these factors, sales of muscle cars manufactured by General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler outstripped hybrid motor vehicles during the month.

According to statistics compiled by Edmunds.com, the combined sales of three models – the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger – bested the combined sales of all hybrid models offered in the United States during the month of May. Sales totals for those three models were 19,476, while the all hybrid models sold just 17,852.

For gearheads, this might be seen as a glimmer of hope that high-performance models are hear to stay. Unfortunately, much of the decline experienced in hybrid sales, particularly Japanese hybrids, which fell nearly 52-percent for the month, are directly related to the stalls in manufacturing related to the earthquake and resulting tsunami. There simply weren’t enough models on dealer lots.

American automakers have their own hybrid models as well. Ford makes a number of popular hybrid models, such as the Ford Fusion and Escape models. Despite their popularity, they sell nowhere near in the volume of their traditional variants. Ford sold a total of 23,140 Escapes in May, and only 1,118 were hybrid versions. That means hybrid versions accounted for less than five percent of the total sales of the Escape.

We’re huge gearheads, so we applaud this victory for Detroit, no matter how shallow it may be. We also applaud the strides manufacturers have made in improving both performance and fuel economy on their muscle cars. The Ford Mustang with a V6 produces more than 300 horsepower and still manages to get an EPA estimated 30 miles to the gallon in highway driving.