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Old 12-31-2007, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Nissan and Toyota's New Year's resolutions: LOSE WEIGHT

GCC is reporting that Nissan and Toyota are watching their calories and hitting the gym to work off the holiday flab.

OK, not quite...

But they have announced some long-term goals to slim down:
  • Nissan is aiming to reduce vehicle weight 15% (from 2005 models) by 2015. They say that will yield a 10% drop in fuel consumption.
  • Toyota is aiming for a 10% weight reduction in its mid size lineup.
Interesting, and welcome news.

They join Ford, which has also recently announced weight reduction plans and Mazda, which is already taking action (its new B class car is lighter than its predecessor).

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Old 12-31-2007, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe this has been the major response of automakers to the new CAFE standards, which still leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

What will it actually take to get the industry to change the way it works? Instead of smaller engines, taller gear, a little bit less pep or fancy pieces of crap, we're going to see new cars that cost more because of all the aluminum, titanium, and whatnot they're being built with...It'll prolly end up in price inflation the same way gas prices explode when a refinery is shut down disproportionate to the actual change in production capability...

*shrug*
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know - I can see that happening at the luxury end of things.

But I bet Mazda2 that they trimmed 200 lbs from doesn't have any carbon fliber in it.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I doubt CF...but I've heard a lot of talk from detroit about how The Only Way to meet the requirements is to lower vehicle weight...bs I say! I'm slightly bitter.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The only way to make the 10% increase is to lose the weight? When they do the test on the dynos does it not take into account drag? Stick a belly pan, movable grill block with the springs, the coolant cantainer like the Prius, decent gearing and your done.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Of course you're right Lazarus. Although one problem with the dynamic grill at least here is that it would have been iced over and frozen in place several times this winter.

Perhaps one reason they flog the weight angle is because they know it allows the safety argument to creep in and generate opposition to the rules. Something like...

Actually, Congress Wants to Kill You!
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Perhaps one reason they flog the weight angle is because they know it allows the safety argument to creep in and generate opposition to the rules. Something like...

Actually, Congress Wants to Kill You!
Hmmmmm. The conspiracy nut in me is now awakened. I know they have a bunch of Nobel Prize winners on staff but where does their private funding come from?
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The way I read "The Only Way to meet the requirements is to lower vehicle weight" is that they'll have to do a lot of things to meet the requirements, but they won't be able to exclude reducing the weight.

Heck, I bet they could get the first 10% by sticking a manual tranny back on cars and putting in a mpg readout. How about tire pressure monitors. What I'm saying is there is a lot of low hanging fruit that they could do that neither requires nor precludes fundamental efficiency changes in drive train or the glider.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re the pressure monitors & FE readouts: they'll likely help the owner of the vehicle to save fuel.

But they're currently not worth anything on the EPA tests. (And... aren't tire pressure alarms being mandated in the US soon?)
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, you're right, I was mixing reality and politics again. My bad.

BTW, if TP monitors are really happening, then aren't we one step closer to putting runflats on all cars? Wouldn't that enable makers to ditch the spare (and maybe the jack)?

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