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Old 02-06-2008, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Article: Fiat offers "Eco pack" option group ... is the "nerd gear" coming??

My brother in law and I used to joke that the manufacturers needed to offer a "nerd gear" manual transmission option on new models for people who care about fuel efficiency, and weren't horrified by the idea that you might have to occasionally downshift from top gear to climb a hill or accelerate to go around another car at freeway speeds.

That was one of the ideas that prompted me to do the transmission swap in my car.

Maybe that day is coming...

Fiat has announced that they're marketing an "Eco pack" option group on some models that includes "low rolling resistance tyres, longer gear ratios and different ECU settings."

Good for Fiat!

Let's see the companies selling in North America start taking this approach too!

Source: Bravo for Fiat's 'Eco pack'

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Old 02-06-2008, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very cool. I really really wish we had those kinds of options on this side of the lake. I've been searching relentlessly for the perfect tranny and differential gears to swap into my Tercel since I'll be putting an LSD into it come summer. However, the lowest gearing I've been able to find is a .725 5th gear ratio with a 3.722 final drive ratio. This gives me nearly 2600 rpms at 65 mph which is the speed limit for most of my daily drive. According to some rough calculations I could easily get away with dropping down to 1500 rpm and still have enough horsepower to pedal away at 65. Needless to say I'd loose speed going up hills, but heck, I wouldn't have to P&G hardly at all! So, now I get to look into other inventive ways to drop the ratios down.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Other inventive ways to drop ratios?



They probably have low rolling resistance too!
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been pretty lucky with my Camry. At 60mph I'm right around 2050RPM(ish) which isn't too bad and at 55 I'm at just 1900RPM. I generally try to stay around 55mph as my fastest speed, but sometimes, IE on the 65mph freeway, I have to bump it up which hurts my gas millage a bit. I almost wonder sometimes though, whether the speed at which you pass by those miles actually helps your millage to some extent at 60-65 though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The idea of an "E" (Economy) version is not new but perhaps the FIAT example will push others to offer something along similar lines.

Citroen pioneered the idea way back in the days of the Traction and again with the CX.

Paying US$4+ per gallon has that effect !

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Old 02-06-2008, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello -

I read somewhere that Fiat has become the auto-eco-leader in Europe recently because of it's emphasis on "bread and butter" MPG efficiencies like lowering weight and lowering engine displacement. I think they also had a hand in developing the "Common Rail direct fuel injection" technology for diesel.

This "eco-pack" option is very much in line with that philosophy. This is what we have wanted all along. I really like the ECU mod options, because this is in line with what the sport-compact tuner crowd already do for more HP. Just offering "final gear" transmission options would be such an improvement.

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Old 02-06-2008, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCO2 View Post
I almost wonder sometimes though, whether the speed at which you pass by those miles actually helps your millage to some extent at 60-65 though.
NoCO2, I get that feeling sometimes, too. When I'm going up a long hill slowly, getting 20mpg, sometimes I'll think "If I went faster, I'd get this bad stretch over quicker and save gas". Then I have to remind myself that there is no time unit in the equations Miles / Gallons or Liters / Kilometers. But it sure grates on the nerves to watch bad numbers on the Scanguage for so long.

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