One day, those who fetishise the internal combustion engine will be perceived the same way as steam engine enthusiasts are today.

At least, that’s what somebody on the internet told me the other week in fewer than 141 characters. I think he meant it as an insult. 

Which, I thought, was a bit dismissive of those who appreciate a machine that, over the past 120 years, has liberated the world, brought freedom to billions of people and relief to the needy, built communities, shortened wars (other views on its role in them are available) and made intercontinental travel possible. 

But internet matey was right. The path is set. Even McLaren, maker of specialist high-performance cars, knows the internal combustion (IC) game is over. Sure, beyond our highly developed world of high-tech, high-density living, I’ll be staggered if the IC engine doesn’t have another century of life in it but, still, its time will come.