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Old 02-01-2014, 10:06 AM   #49 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Burlington, ON
Posts: 158

minispeed-Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 82.15 mpg (US)

MDX - '01 Acura MDX Touring
90 day: 22.29 mpg (US)

the wife's car - '13 Toyota Prius Plus
90 day: 45.99 mpg (US)

leaf-one - '15 Nissan Leaf SV
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Thanked 36 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by slownugly View Post
Rusty- so let me get this straight. If weight was taken out of the equation on a new gasoline non-hybrid to equal the weight of my 2000 lb vx then the return would be the same or superior to the lean burn technology? They are making new cars that are lighter and more aerodynamic and they still don't touch the vx. Speculation or educated guesses about a certain drivetrain in a lighter car is not enough to sway my opinion.

I have tested my vx with 650 lbs and mileage dropped 3-4 mpg from my average. (to 49mpg from an average of 51-53) That's about 2750lb curb weight. If I increased the weight to 3000 lbs I highly doubt it would drop below 45. This makes me want to try it. I'll drop a small book Chevy in the backseat haha.
None of the new cars now will be compared to old cars with an "apple to apple" cause the EPA tests are different. They use a factor to estimate what old cars would have got, but how accurate is that going to be for every car?

So take a look at this users fuel log, Mitsu Mirage 59.5mpg lifetime, about the same weight as your civic. It's rated at 37 combined vs the Honda VX at 43. The fiesta 1.0l turbo is rated about the same as the Mitsu although I didn't find any user data. And those are the closest cars to the sub compacts of the 90s and each is about 8cu ft more interior space, 4 doors, the sedan fiesta has 1 cu ft less cargo and the Mitsu has 4 cu ft more, and both of them do it without lean burn. Using my 19000mi/year and $5.0/gal for gas presets at sticker EPA both the mitsu and fiesta only come out to $350/year more for gas.

As for ROI from the design stand point, nothing will beat an EV or parallel hybrid. At ecomodder a lot of us chase aero mods first because as others have said it's "the low hanging fruit". To a manufacture who wants to bring down their CAFE an EV or hybrid is the low hanging fruit, no engine, no emmisions and if it shuts off the engine 10% of the time it's an instant 10% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. If you can figure out how to get more energy density into the batteries you can shut down the engine more. The best part for the car makers is there are a lot of other companies trying to figure that out taking all the risk and fronting all the cash that will try to sell that technology to them when they develop it. If that technology lets someone sell a car with Tesla range/charge time specs for $30g they will be laughing all the way to the bank. If they wanted to develop lean burn they would have to take all the risk and front all the cash and then if it worked come up with an expensive marketing campaign to convince the public it's worth buying.

I think the future of the ICE will include mild hybrids as standard for a long time coming, what's the point of lean burn at idle as others have talked about when you can just shut it off and run all the electrics, ac, heat without the ICE?

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