The effect of rising gas prices

The Ford F-150 still remains the
biggest seller of all vehicles.
Gas prices are on the rise, this is no secret. The strange thing is peoples habits remain the same. For this year so far the top selling vehicle is you guessed it, the Ford F-series and by a mile. Other top sellers included the dodge ram in second and GM and Chevy trucks made the top ten. There wasn't a single hybrid on the list, I think the most fuel efficient car on it was the Hyundai Elantra. So people will complain about high prices but doing something about it is another matter. Unless there is some hope that prices will go down.

I recently asked my fellow car folks if they are looking for a more fuel efficient car. Very few responded with yes, most feel other features are more important. That is fuel economy is second to these features. I also talked with other people who aren't gear heads and they responded similarly. This seems in general to be the trend, sales say so, regular consumers say something, and gear heads say so.

This must mean fuel efficient cars are lacking a lot to keep them from selling well. I looked around to see maybe why people aren't interested. There is one thing I consistently see from these cars and that is they aren't fun to drive. They lack good handling and balance that other cars provide. This makes me wonder, why don't companies spend money on producing a good chassis. Having a less powerful engine doesn't make a car boring to drive. I like to think of it this way. "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow." I know I and many others would strongly consider a car that is more eco friendly if it drove similar to a sports car.

What people think of when they think
eco cars. 
Image is a big problem with eco cars because they're widely known as boring cars that are used as an appliance to get there, cheap. They're seen as a car that is bought by somebody who only looks at the spec sheet and not what car offers when you go and drive it. So unless you couldn't care less about driving, you're not likely to buy one of these cars. Put it this way, it's not something you get excited about buying and a car should be something you're excited to pick up.

Thus manufacturer's need a solution. If I were creating a eco car I would ensure it has a sporty chassis that can deal with being thrown around, provides good feedback and a positive feel. A nice interior also helps go a long way. Creating an econobox won't make a car stand out or sell any better. It's important to attract people with something different.

So here's your part. If you were creating an eco car car, what you do to improve it, and make it sell better? What would make you excited to purchase an eco car?