Why are these men smiling?

Bruce McMahan, who appears to regard idleness with the same affection we have for a troupe of mimes, has captured our interest again, this time in a far happier light.  McMahan, who first came to The Daily Cannibal’s attention as the object of a smear campaign by The Village Voice, clearly has not let the Voice’s libels slow him down — in fact, it he has sped up, producing a street-legal sports car that holds several world speed records, including the record for zero to sixty.  Did you think that the 2.5 second time of the Bugatti Veyron was the fastest for a production car?  Well, you’re wrong.  It’s  McMahan’s Maxximus G-Force, which does it in a record-shattering 2.0.

To put this unimaginable number into perspective, that means the car would hit sixty before it got halfway down a basketball court.  Even LeBron can’t do that.  And he’s a lot more expensive.

But this is the old news.  The new news is that McMahan wasn’t satisfied with that.  So he’s building a new supercar that runs on liquid natural gas (LNG), designed by Marlon Kirby, the gent who came up with the G-Force (that’s Kirby on the right up top). Why?  Because McMahan sees a future of energy independence for the US, and to persuade the American consumer that LNG is a safe, practical alternative to gasoline, McMahan knew he needed to do something to get their attention.  So no dumpy lumbering Prius-like pukebox for him.  Here’s what he has in mind:

Doesn’t look much like a Prius, does it?  This car will get the attention of even the most skeptical motorhead.  According to TechVehi, a leading alternative fuel blog, the car will sport “a Rolls Royce interior refinement and outstanding performances announced (presumably realistic since they are already testing monsters beyond 1500hp for over two years) 0 to 100kph in 2.1 seconds, 0 to 160kph in 4.5 seconds, a power near 2000hp and the objective to reach a 300mph top speed (483kph)!!”

Impressive indeed.  Nor is this a stripped-down dragster — as TechVehi notes, it comes with the usual luxury sports car array of amenities, including a McMintosh sound system that would impress a rap star.   The navigation system displays natural gas refueling stations, so that the driver will know just where to go when fuel gets low.  And while the seven figure price tag will put the Prodigy beyond the reach of most housewives, few will recoil from its practical, competitively-priced offspring when they hit the market.

McMahan recently unveiled the car at the annual convention for energy superstars in Las Vegas, and the reception was enthusiastic.  And for good reason.  The United States has enormous reserves of natural gas.  Natural gas produces a fraction of the pollution that gasoline does, is more energy efficient, and is easily stored and transported.  If the entire US auto and truck fleets were to convert to LNG over a twenty year period, we would no longer be an oil importer, and  Hugo Chavez would be hugely pissed.

Before this happens, the American consumer needs to be persuaded, and McMahan is just the man to do it.  He once almost cornered the abalone market in Mexico, and at one time tinkered with the idea of starting his own country by building, stone by stone, his own island.  He became a legendary figure on Wall Street during the seventies and eighties at Bear Stearns, and left to found what became the nation’s largest broker/dealer in convertible bonds.   That led to his founding and managing one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the world, when his world was turned topsy-turvy by what may turn out to be a criminal attack by the Village Voice, which published stories of astounding flimsiness accusing McMahan of behavior that was as unlikely and unfounded as it was sick-making.

But if the Voice thought their libels would hamper or damage McMahan, clearly they are disappointed.  Today, McMahan stands again at the forefront of a remarkable new industry.  Based on his past performance, it would be foolhardy to bet against him.

As a postscript, we offer you the hilarious Rotocade Gear Girl’s take on the Maxximus.  Warning:  this video is not for the easily offended, or folks who still have their old copies of Ms. magazine up their attic.