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Old 05-15-2010, 01:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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mcrews's Avatar
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Location: Texas
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The Q Sold - '02 Infiniti Q45 Sport
90 day: 23.08 mpg (US)

blackie - '14 nissan altima sv
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have made great strides in engine efficiency... but they have used the progress to deliver more power at the same MPG, rather than increasing MPG. Since 1985, average fuel economy has dropped 5%, while vehicle weight has risen 29% and average horsepower has increased 86%. That's what makes vehicle efficiency easy: even without further advances in engine efficiency, we could greatly increase fuel economy by just returning vehicle weight and horsepower to 1985 levels.

On so many levels this is a classic example of percentages telling a different story than the facts that exist.
But I don't want to get into a huge discussion.
let me just offer up two thoughts:
1. CAFE standards set different goals for trucks so the manufacturers moved to the more obvious choice and built trucks. Kinda the unintended result of government and lobby intervention.
2. I drive an 02 Infiniti Q45. The Q was introduced in 1990 and never caught on like it's competition the Lexus LS. So in late 2000, Infiniti decided to take one last bite at the upper end luxo/sport sedan market. The 2002 infiniti weighs almost 500 lbs less than the 4 other sedans that it competed with. lot's of aluminum and alloy. It also got 50 more hp than the next competitor. THey all run 4 to 4.5 liter V8s. The Q also got better mpg than all four. (not a big selling point in this bracket of vehicles)
Without any major mods or hypermiling, I was getting 27mpg on 300 mile trips (epa 23)

my point is that manufacturers can produce cars that are effecient and perform better.

as a final thought, I am perplexed by the reference to 1985 numbers.... The mid 80's were a horrible time for cars. Pollution devices were being strapped on with little engineering and thought. that was probably the low point for effecency in american cars.
There was no effecency in the use of materials either.
MetroMPG: "Get the MPG gauge - it turns driving into a fuel & money saving game."

First: ScangaugeII

Second: Grille Block

Third: Full underbelly pan

Fourth: rear skirts and 30.4mpg on trip!
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