If you want to get decent milage the US needs to start getting
low-sulphur diesel and SOON, so that the newer generatiosn of Diesel
engines can be brought over.
a VW lupo diesel will do 60mpg, an audi A8, with a 4l twin-turbo
diesel can manage 40mpg on the highway (and thats a big heavy car!)
I also agree that driving style has a lot to do with it - I did a run
from atlanta to sailsbury, NC on sunday - there and back averaged
30mpg, on a vehicle with an EPA highway rating of 26, and the return
journey had 2700lb of lexan in it. That was from an 87 dodge 3l, with
the check engine light on, imagine what i'll get when i get the engine
working graet (i got it about 4 weeks ago)
Basically comes down to 3 things
1) driving style - most americans, it seems, have little knowledge of
smooth driving, or wide spacial awareness. they don't anticipate or
aggregate. The significantly lower standard of driving required to
pass the test in the US compaired with the UK, also means that drivers
look for bigger vehicles for safety.
2) Mechanicals - American engines are not the best out-putters of
power. Tend to be big engines, that are then tuned for low-end torque
and made quiet. The abundance of automatic boxes also makes it less
efficient. Side impact bars, safety cages etc. are also often missing
in the smaller cars, meaning that peolpe look to the big heavy vehcles
3) legislative. Car tags, at least here in georgia, are priced on
vehicle value, in the UK, they're emissiosn dependant. Smaller engined
cars cost less. the lower safety requirements, and the incrased
reliance on active, secondary devices, such as airbags, and away from
better stronger chassis, or better handling (admittedly, the last is
hard to legislate) . Silly stuff too, such as Arnie proposing the
Pruis be allowed to use carpool lanes, even when only 1 person in it
9the prius's 1.5l engine, is the same size as that in my civic, and my
civic is a HELL of a lot lighter with no batteries or motors to
feed/carry - so can i run my civic in the california carpool lanes on
my own too, eh? nope, didn't think so.
Partially agree. Would you want to be broad sided by an American
Car/SUV/Truck in a Lupo? Hell even being in a Polo would be fatal.
I love the A8, Mid sized Bimmers & the new GTi Diesels. Wonderful fun
cars to drive, cheap on fuel etc. I agree on the Diesel. We should
have Low Sulphur available for those of us that want it esp since we
grow so much Rapeseed/Canola over here.
Agreed. Though poorly designed roads/motorways have as big an impact
on smooth driving. One "law abiding" idiot switching lanes in front of
faster moving traffic & you've got a 3 hour tie up (assuming that they
don't cause a wreck)
Big slow revving engines last longer & can use as little or even less
than a smaller engine working harder (compare the V8 Lincoln's to a
Turbo Saab to see what I mean). Auto Boxes can be more efficient than
they have been (for eg, the new twin clutch trannies in the Ferrari's
and Porsche) Fast, efficient and potentially much more reliable.
It's hard to swerve out of the way of someone running a stop sign or a
red light. I like the UK idea of standard bumper heights on trucks
and under-runners (or whatever they're called) on the sides of larger
Also most North American vehicles are designed for our climate.
Europe and Asia is much more temperate and thus the vehicles don't
need quite the same HVAC system we do over here.
Legislatively I think mandating increases in fuel economy would be a
good starting point. Imagine a Corvette with a Hybrid V8. 500 HP gas
plus 100HP electric with massive torque on demand then 2 cylinders
running in stop and go. Or a 4X4 SUV with Electric rear drive train
for acceleration and generation. There's no reason we can't hit mid
to high 40's on gasoline with the size and shape of vehicles we have
now. Add to it an electric battery pack chargeable from home & you're
off to the races.
Not touching the California thing. I have no clue what the objectives
are down there.
Please explain to me why there is this notion
that economy = deprivation
is a 6000 square foot Solar home more wasteful than a 1200 square foot
traditional home? I believe homes are where we should be focusing the
economy on, (greater gains fewer $). end of my rant
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