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Old 05-04-2011, 11:39 AM   #28 (permalink)
Bill in Houston
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Power has always been a form of luxury, and we are rich enough to afford relatively inefficient cars. We are also a slothful people. Try to buy a car with a manual transmission or (horror of horrors) crank windows here.

Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Yet when we are offered such cars which don't combine their smallness with "how cheap can we possibly build this thing?", they seem to sell. See for instance the Mini.
They have sold a bunch, for sure. But the Mini isn't anything like an economy car, or a good-gas-mileage-car, or a typical european car. To produce a Mini that is more like a euro-spec car, it would have a 1-liter engine or smaller, making about 80-90hp. Not a car that would sell here, in my opinion. I mean, how often do you see a Mini that is not an S-type? This suggests that the base mini with 120hp is generally considered inadequate. Most Mini buyers, if they hadn't bought a Mini, would have been looking at something like a Civic Si, but then would have bought a Subaru wagon. They would not have been looking at decked-out Fits, Yariseses, Civics, Fiestas, or Corollas. At least that is my perception. I am often wrong.

Originally Posted by cleanspeed1 View Post
I hear what your saying and agree, but the problem has been that vehicles that can satisfy those " American " needs with safety and fuel efficiency have been made by our OEMs but not sold here.

yet the truck we need is probably half as costly, has half the power and gets twice the mileage, in the same chassis that we get here.

And available widely in the half ton chassis.

I know nothing about diesels, sorry. But think of this. The smallest gasoline engine offered in a full-size pickup or a Expedition still has better acceleration than the diesels you mention (I suspect). But, very few are sold, because it is widely perceived that they are not strong enough. Plus diesels have their own market acceptance issues. So how can Ford expect to sell a decent number of them here in the US? I think that if you MADE people drive them, they would eventually say, yeah this is a decent truck. But very few people will walk into a showroom and hope to buy a full-sized truck that performs like a 4.2 liter TD would. Not to mention that they would have to pay extra, because pretty much any engine has to be more expensive to make than a pushrod V8. Just my opinions on the matter.
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