If you were planning on buying a new Civic--WAIT.
Buy the latest issue of "Honda Tuning" magazine. You can buy a copy at any
magazine store. www.hondatuningmagzine.com
There is picture of the concept car mentioned above in the magazine. It's
the MAY issue.
The article says that the new Civic will have 200 HP. My Accord only has
150 HP. The 2006 Civics will be for sale in November, 2006 (according to
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I think that's pretty likely. The money people - the futures investors -
believe we are in he opening stages of what they are calling a "superspike."
Demand for oil is expected to rise rapidly as auto ownership soars in India
and China, leading to prices as high as $100 per barrel for crude. Sales of
SUVs are already tumbling.
Add to this the advent of hybrids, which separate the issues of fuel economy
and acceleration performance (like Honda's DualNote 2001 concept car), and
the era of cars with 200 hp engines is probably coming to a permanent end.
They are simply becoming obsolete. The new muscle cars will be hybrids.
Michael Pardee wrote:
| and the era of cars with 200 hp engines is probably
| coming to a permanent end. They are simply becoming obsolete. The
| new muscle cars will be hybrids.
That's right, about friggin' time we came to our senses.
a Tree Hugger (driving an old Civic when I drive)
I'm a conservative myself, and a skeptic of the Hubbert curve. (The
"superspike" doesn't fit the curve at all.) I also feel it is just as well
we haven't been conserving gasoline up to this point, because conserving a
resource that is limited by production (as oil is in the contemporary sense)
during times of plenty has the same effect as wasting it does during times
of shortage. Because of the free-spending usage in our past we have room to
We have been using petroleum for fuel because it has been the cheapest and
most plentiful fuel available. But we are clearly entering a watershed time.
The problem is not that we are "running out of oil" - we've been doing that
since the first barrel was pumped, and no amount of conservation will change
the end of this path, only the rate. But world-wide demand will put rapidly
rising pressure on production for probably a generation... maybe more.
Production will inevitably increase (in complete defiance of Hubbert) but
the economics and politics surrounding the increase won't be pretty.
In 2002 my wife and I saw that whatever was going to happen to gas prices it
wasn't going to be good. Gasoline was about $1.50 per gallon and the price
was becoming unstable. We did the research and decided on our second new car
in 30 years: a Toyota Prius. On newsgroups people were scoffing at the idea
of ever recovering the premium over the equivalent Corolla by saving 40% of
$1.50 gasoline. But the car we traded in (a Nissan 300ZX) got 20 mpg and the
Prius gets 45-50 mpg, so gas prices have to rise to about $3.50 before we
pay as much for gas as we did then. The effect is to make gas prices
unimportant to our household and vacation budgets.
I have been a proponent of hybridization since I heard about it around 20
years ago. It is only now becoming ready for prime time. The concept of
using a 200 hp engine to drag a 5 passenger car around town or to cruise at
freeway speeds is ludicrous. Sizing the engine for freeway hill climbs and
using electric drive for the low power needs and to provide acceleration is
a lot smarter.
Michael Pardee wrote:
| I'm a conservative myself, and a skeptic of the Hubbert curve. (The
| "superspike" doesn't fit the curve at all.) I also feel it is just
| as well we haven't been conserving gasoline up to this point,
| because conserving a resource that is limited by production (as oil
| is in the contemporary sense) during times of plenty has the same
| effect as wasting it does during times of shortage. Because of the
| free-spending usage in our past we have room to conserve now.
I don't quite understand your reasoning here. Yes, it's been the beginning
of the end ever since the first barrel, but it *is* a limited resource, and
thinking about the developing and threshold countries with their billions of
people all wanting SUVs makes me shiver. The earlier we "get it", the better
for our children and grandchildren and beyond.
Just because I have 10 million dollars (not really :) doesn't mean I need to
throw it out of the window.
We need to be thinking about how to quench our thirst for energy. Oil is
stored solar energy. Solar alone is not going to be enough. Are we going to
have to go nuclear? How long until Chernobyl II?
Where are we going to get all of our plastic from? Most of it comes from the
petrochemical industries. Where's that keyboard of yours that you're typing
on? Your sneakers?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17039-2004Jun4.html is an
interesting article on this topic. The probably most honest point in it is,
" Unfortunately, politicians and policymakers have ignored Hubbert's Peak
and have no plans to deal with it: If it's beyond the next election, forget
| In 2002 my wife and I saw that whatever was going to happen to gas
| prices it wasn't going to be good. Gasoline was about $1.50 per
| gallon and the price was becoming unstable. We did the research and
| decided on our second new car in 30 years: a Toyota Prius.
| I have been a proponent of hybridization since I heard about it
| around 20 years ago. It is only now becoming ready for prime time.
The problem is still the efficiency of the batteries. Considering the amount
of energy you put into the battery, it's rather disappointing to see what
you get back out. The rest is just heat. But it's a start and heading in the
right direction. It's pretty impressive what Toyota put together and made
| The concept of using a 200 hp engine to drag a 5 passenger car
| around town or to cruise at freeway speeds is ludicrous.
Yeah, especially a 5 passenger car filled with one single person. Look at
what the car companies are doing in Europe. Honda's Jazz is small, the Smart
(coming to North America soon. see http://www.smart.com ), even BMW's
1-series and Mercedes' A class, not to mention Daihatsu that uses the slogan
"bigger is stupid".
| Sizing the
| engine for freeway hill climbs and using electric drive for the low
| power needs and to provide acceleration is a lot smarter.
Agreed. Thanks for your points, Mike!
When grilled further on (Fri, 15 Apr 2005 08:42:17 GMT),
As one of those persons (Honda Accord Hybrid), I have to point out situations
you may not be aware of.
I'm 6'5", 240lbs. I looked at the Prius and was intending to purchase one.
But, I'd need to loose 3" to sit in the front seat and 6" to sit in the back.
Plus, I have three kids I need to shuffle in the mornings, and the Prius will
not take three car seats in the back. I also wouldn't purchase a care without
test driving one. I had to settle to sit in someone else's Prius to determine
it was too small.
Checked out the Civic (hybrid), but again, too small (shoulders in the seat and
headroom), and couldn't hold the three car seats.
I checked out the Escape (hybrid), but again, not enough head room for me (roof
turned down too quickly) and the top of the seat backs hit me in scapula. Gas
millage wasn't good enough anyway...
That left Accord. Walked on the lot and test drove one. Bought it a week
Does it need to be 255hp? No. I didn't purchase it for that. I bought it to
stop driving my pickup at 14mpg (I'm getting 33.5mpg with the Accord) and to
haul around my family. It helps to have the extra hp on the highway at times,
but I would of bought it with 100hp less. I'd love to of gotten into something
that got 50+mpg, but the manufactures didn't want that to happen for someone my
size with a family of 5. So it was the Accord or nothing.
As for driving as a single person, I've not found anyone who works my hours in
my area (that kid thing again). It's just not always possible. I guess I could
of bought a motorcycle, taken the kids to school in the truck, gone back home
and taken the motorcycle (and likely a divorce also ;-)
Definitely a consideration. Limitations in the inverter and battery are
keeping the Toyota system in small cars for now, and Honda has the same sort
of battery limitations in their IMA hybrid system. For now, people who need
larger vehicles for any of those reasons or others have to go with
conventional power trains.
I never look down my nose at people who make their choices, because each of
us has our own life to live. (Sadly, I still catch myself scowling at people
who drive smoky cars... even though I know none of them want their car to
I have advanced this view a few times before and have never won a convert
(as far as I know), so I'll keep the explanation to this one post.
With all resources there are three possibilities: they can be essentially
boundless, like sunlight; they can be limited by replenishment rate, like
river water; or they can be finite, like oil (or our lives themselves).
Conservation is pointless on the boundless type, a fact of life on the
replenishment type, and inconsequential in the long run on the finite type.
For finite resources, conservation can change the time scale of the resource
depletion but can't affect the shape of things.
But since oil has to be pumped and refined to be useful, and those
facilities are a constructed resource limited by replenishment rate,
conservation in times of plenty results in loss of production margin. When
demand spikes or facilities are out of service a shortage results, and if
usage can't be shifted from areas where it was unimportant it follows that
more critical areas have to be starved to accomodate.
A wag once pointed out "the Stone Age didn't end when we ran out of stones."
Until the market price of auto fuel rises to the point that alternatives can
compete with petroleum, we'll continue to live in the Oil Age. And there are
a lot of alternatives. My expectations are on frozen methane hydrate on the
sea floor. The energy stored in methane hydrate is believed to be greater
than all the drillable oil believed to exist. And we can certainly find ways
to use methane.
That's not always true. Higher horsepower allows the engine to work less and
to maintain a more consistent speed while doing so, at least that is the way
it works with trucks. A tractor trailer with an engine turning out 500-600
hp returns higher mpg than a truck putting out 400 hp.
Great point. Over 30 years ago, my brother had a Chevy that had the
smallest 8 cyld. motor made by GM--it may have been a 327 but am not sure.
The gas mileage was about 18 MPG. About 2 years later, he traded it in on
a new Chevy that had a 350 engine which was about the largest 8 cyld.
motor made by GM--at that time. He was able to get about 21 miles per
gallon. I asked a professor at the local college about this since no one
in our family could figure it out. He explained the same points that you
made in your post. A larger engine does not has to work as hard as a
really small engine--esp. when it involves going up and down mountains
like we had in West Virginia.
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wow, that's an awesomely underinformed pair of statements. the
fundamental fact is that bigger engines have more friction & more
reciprocating mass, therefore they /do/ require more energy to run. 8
cylinders take more energy to run than 4 cylinders for the same reasons.
the "improvement" experienced between those two motors was entirely
due to differences in ignition & fuel/air delivery technology, not some
bizarre local distortion in the fundamental rules of physics.
If you had read what I stated earlier, what you say above you will see has
nothing to do with what I said.
I mentioned differences in fuel mileage for trucks, regarding increased hp
returns increased mpg.
Still, it is a fact of life. All things being equal, your statement is
certainly true. The problem is that there are a lot of variables -
compression ratio, gearing, throttle losses, etc. If every chassis were
tried with every available engine the most efficient would probably be one
of the smallest, but we would find a lot of bumps in the graph of economy as
a function of power or displacement. For example, the EPA MPG ratings
(http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2005_GasolineVehicles.pdf ) for the BMW Z4
roadster 6 speed 3.0L is better than for the 5 speed 2.5L. Probably the
improved gearing doing that, but there we are.
In theory, gasoline engines (otto cycle) have a thermodynamic limit of
efficiency around 65% while diesel engines (diesel cycle) have a limit of
efficiency around 50%. But since those limits are approached as the
compression ratio approaches infinity, the diesel wins almost every time.
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