The performance car wars are still going on. Look as recently as the Camaro/Mustang/Challenger. They have been especially busy trying to one up each other. HP over 700 off the showroom floor? Then having V6 models with nearly 400hp? Cadillac 4-cyl models over 300hp competing with the BMW M3? I think the taste for performance is live and well. I don't see it going anywhere for sometime, much to the chagrin of the EPA, at least here in the states.
Hey, I'm all for performance + efficiency. I'm even okay with trading one for the other. I like to think my expectations are pretty well managed, too: 700 BHP doesn't do me any good on any street that I drive on. I just really like the wagon form factor of the WRX: such a great Dad car. :-)