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Old 12-24-2007, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,712

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
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Article: Want cars to eat less? Put 'em on a diet

"American cars have gained weight every year. A study released by Mega Associates, reported in October in Ward's AutoWorld magazine, said the average weight of vehicles produced in the United States in 2005 was 1,823 kg, up 39 per cent from the 1990 average of 1,314 kg. "

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This article's writer moved to Rome (from Canada), and found that even though fuel there is $2 per litre (about $7.50 / US gallon), his fuel costs haven't risen, because his new, European family car is now much more efficient.

Quote:
ROME — I am a big guy. My car, a Fiat Grande Punto, is smaller than a Volkswagen Golf. But it has a clever design. It has more than adequate interior space for the family, sporty performance thanks to a turbo engine and a sleek, undorky shape.
(^ I have to wonder if that's a Prius jab...)

Here's the Fiat Grande Punto:



Quote:
Technologically speaking, the Fiat's admirable fuel economy (by North American standards) has almost nothing to do with technology and almost everything to do with weight. It is light. At 1,170 kilograms, it is about 20 per cent lighter than a Golf and 50 per cent lighter than a Chrysler 300C, to name two popular cars sold on both sides of the Atlantic. Less weight, smaller engine; smaller engine, less fuel consumption. It doesn't get any simpler.

Car designers everywhere risk brain aneurysms trying to figure out how to meet tighter fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission standards. They're fussing and fiddling with new types of batteries, hybrid gas-electric technology, fancy fuel injection systems, fuel cells and the like. They needn't. All they have to do is put cars on a swift, brutal diet. Fiat and a couple of other European auto companies have proved that small cars can be profitable, too.

The Americans are in a panic because they don't know how to make small, light cars profitable. Since the 1980s, the bulk of their profits have come from SUVs, those technological dinosaurs that could be laden with high-profit-margin frills such as leather seats, entertainment systems and air conditioning powerful enough to cool an industrial meat locker.

The Europeans are proving that small cars don't have to be econo-boxes with the design features of a loaf of bread. They are on the verge of turning small cars into status symbols.

The bigger-is-better philosophy is dying in Europe and it has to die in North America. Small cars are better for the planet and easier on the wallet.
Read it all: Want cars to eat less?

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