click and clack, the tappet bros. on the issue of fuel economy

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The current Camry with a 4 cy engine, is a good example of a car that gets good mileage for a car that size, but it too can not get our of its own way.
I see fully loaded tractor trailers pass them on long grades on the interstates ;)
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

It's rated to do 0-60 MPH in under 10 secs. Is that considered barely adequate nowadays?
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That depends on how much under 10 seconds. 10 seconds is certainly a long time to get up to 60.
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Perhaps if one lives in flat country. Drive one up a long grade and try to maintain the posted speed limit, or try accelerating from 60 MPH and you will see why it is a slug. On needs to drive with the throttle to the floor most of the time on anything but a flat road.and if you do that your mileage will drop way off ;)
mike hunt

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Odd, I have a friend with a base model Camry 5-speed and it is definitely not underpowered. In fact, it is quite respectable for a four-popper.
nate
Mike Hunter wrote:

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I supose, as long as you do not need to climb a grade and want to maintain the speed limit, or need to get out of the way of a big rig in a hurry. ;)
mike hunt

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some of the dozen known experimental models have gotten up to 250 mpg.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/gear/2005-08-14-hybrid-tinkering_x.htm
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One would expect any vehicle that could actually achieve 225 MPG or even 125 MPG would be quickly brought to market by the inventor. If he did not have the capital, or the investors, to do so one would think he would at least license the patent to a manufacture who would gladly bring it to market and put all of its competitors out of business. LOL
mike hunt

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That is what Toyota is gradually doing
GM will soon be out of business
You are wrong about the quickly bit
Quality takes a long time
Mike Hunter wrote:

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I didn't hear the lecture on how to get greater than 100% efficiency.
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Some O wrote:

Downgrade? Tailwind? or better yet, downgrade with a tailwind.
-- PJ
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wrote:

BUICK Century with a 3.1L engine. That's about 185 cu inches... Considerably smaller then the 6's of the 60's and 70's
At first, I thought it underpowered, but since then, I've learned to drive with my head, not the gas pedal.
It's no speed demon, 30 > 35 mpg on the interstate more than makes up for it !
<rj>
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good point.......many, many times while I'm trying to merge onto the highway, there's some dipshit moron in front of me who's doing like 35mph at the point the entrance ramp meets the highway and they're in a 220hp modern car. So it's driver error. I've owned econobox hatchback type cars with 65hp that you could easily get up to 55-65mph before merging.
-
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Who is taking about speed? Even a 4cy car can do 100 MPH. For a car to be safe it should have the torque, at the proper RPM, to be quick enough to get out of its own way when needed, a 4cy Camry can not. A 4cy Camry can not even maintain the speed limit on a long grades on the interstates around here. Eight out of ten Camrys sold in the US only have the four, our local dealer stocks mostly V6s for that reason. The Camry V6, like the Century 3.1L engine, has the proper torque for a car that size.
mike hunt

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Grappletech wrote:

A lot of it is WEIGHT. cars aren't getting any lighter; despite improvements in technology and engineering (one can save weight by using compter modeling to make parts only as heavy as they absolutely need to be to perform reliably) possible weight savings are negated by upsizing and upcontenting just about every model line. Compare a current VW Golf to the original Rabbit and you'll see what I mean, but this is by no means the only example. Personally I'd be ecstatic if I could buy a simple, basic 2-seater that weighed maybe 2000-2500 lbs. and I bet it could perform well and get good fuel economy too. But the insurance industry (2-seaters are bad, m'kay) federal safety regulations (airbags add weight, as do door beams, rollover protection, etc. not to mention the possibly soon-to-be-mandatory ABS and DSC) and simple market pressures (people still tend to buy the biggest car they can afford, as they assume that "bigger and more expensive must equal better") pretty much ensure that that won't happen, unless I go with an expensive, high-performance model.
nate
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There are plenty of small high mileage vehicles available on the market today for those that choose to buy them. The reality is few buyers choose to do so, prefer to buy the better equipped, safer, larger, more powerful vehicle that are available at around the same price. How many in the US do you believe will buy a two seater 'Smart' for 14K, that will so go on sale here, when they can buy any of a half dozen others that are better equipped, safer, larger, more powerful for the same price? Especially when GM dealers are advertising the base Aveo for $9,990 and DerMopar the base Caliber for $11,995
mike hunt

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I wouldn't buy any of them, when one can probably buy a used Miata or 944 for the same price. I'm a cheap SOB. However, if someone came up with a "poor man's sports car" concept, I'd be all over it like flies on you know what. I really don't care about better equipped or larger; safer (in terms of better performance capabilities) and more powerful are really the only deciding factors.
What would be awesome would be, say, something like a 914 or X1/9 with a modern, powerful yet efficient engine like the VW TDI. It would have to be drastically decontented to meet my price criteria, but I'm OK with that.
I guess I must not be your average car buyer...
nate
Mike Hunter wrote:

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My dad once raced a friend through a twisty/windy mountain road back in the 70's. My dad was driving an Austin Bugeye Sprite and his friend was in a Charger with a 440ci. My dad's time was better than the other guy's elapsed time, so my dad won because of the superior handling of the Austin Sprite. It would be cool to get one of these tiny little British roadster (Sprite, MG Midget, etc..) and install, let's say, a Toyota 4AGE (1600cc DOHC 16V) in it. There is a racing circuit in Europe that people drive old Lotuses, Trimuph and MG's in, and most of the cars have more modern Japanese engines.
-
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grappletech wrote:

Didn't Top Gear do a hillclimb challenge between an old guy in a Sprite and some modern "tuner" car recently? IIRC the Sprite spanked the tuner car, as you'd expect. It was a little hokey (the "tuner car" had Lambo doors, playstation, etc. but the owner seemed to think it was fast) but proved a point. At least a Charger is a real car.
I'm not really into old British stuff, but a Beck spyder might make a good base for an "econo-sportster" if you could get past the price tag.
nate
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