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Old 11-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
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Mica Blue - '05 Scion xA RS 2.0
Team Toyota
90 day: 42.48 mpg (US)

Forest - '15 Nissan Leaf S
Team Nissan
90 day: 156.46 mpg (US)

Number 7 - '15 VW e-Golf SEL
90 day: 155.81 mpg (US)
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Hi Frank,

On the list, as I originally wrote it (in the blog) starts with the inexpensive stuff and works it way (approximately) up to the expensive stuff.

If the major car companies already know all this stuff, then they are successfully ignoring it! Using my Scion xA as an example (since I am familiar with it) they could have done much of what I have done for virtually zero additional cost:

The front cooling openings are about 4X bigger than they need to be. Closing them alone would boost the EPA rating (which is 27/30/34) up by 15-20% and cost virtually nothing.

They could have designed much tighter wheel openings.

They could have put a 3.56:1 final drive in, (rather than the 4.31:1) and just not offered cruise control, unless they used the super low final drive; or just "make" you shift.

They could have made the A/C optional/defeatable in the defrost mode.

They could have lowered the floor in the hatch area, to provide better aero and bunch more storage area at the same time.

They could have exhaust vents for cabin ventilation air that help "suck" air out, and provide more effective cooling passively.

They could coat the window glass with low-e to reduce the heat gain.

I am postulating that all of these would cost virtually the same to produce -- and they just got lazy and "forgot" how to make a better more efficient design. And as I've written before, the fact that car companies redesign cars every year, just for the sake of having a new model to sell is stupid, and frankly, is a lot of why they are in so much trouble now.

They design arbitrary, "pretty face" cars so they can point to the changes and sell more cars -- rather than making evolutionary, functional improvements that are real substantial improvements in the function, and add to the longevity of the car!
Sincerely, Neil
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